Validate Your Life : Productivity and Minimalism, Tech, Atheism, and More show

Validate Your Life : Productivity and Minimalism, Tech, Atheism, and More

Summary: The Validate Your Life and TheNerdCoach main podcast for all projects include audio blog archives, the new audio blog, one and the same recordings episodes, the NLP Practitioner Series, Linuxgeekoid recordings, and the Christmas Carol recordings. This is, unquestionably, the motherload!

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  • Artist: John Thomas Kooz
  • Copyright: Copyright Validate Your Life, TheNerdCoach, and John Kooz. 2003-2012.


 Centeredness: The Effect of Recognition, Heroes, and Uplifting Patterns | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:02:17

Recognition This post is basically a distillation of a lot of reading I have been doing and I had an anchor for a thought that felt linked to a lot of ideas.  The most appropriate outlet for that 'anchor thought' was doing a recording and then extracting what the core points of centeredness and being and staying aligned in life and work. Okay, the 'anchor thought' was this: I saw a video clip of a very well-known successful gamer, this (french) man did a serious where he would introduce himself to people 'in real life' outside of a game.  On occasion a person recognized him from his video-gaming success.  When that happened usually the man's face just lit up and he looked incredibly pleased, so it seemed part of that man's 'dream' is to be recognized by others for his work (which in that case, was for successful gaming).  So that was the 'anchor thought' that sparked a lot of ideas. What is it that people want?  Being recognized is a very valid interest.  But 'being recognized' is 100% distinct from the toxic interest of fame.  Fame is having your name and face splattered all over tabloids where people may know 'of you', but no one actually knows you.  Fame is usually unhinged from valid, proper work and recognition.  Toxic fame is an inability to connect with people. So going back to that gamer when his eyes lit up because of recognition of work. That looked valid and it made me think, "Hey, what is it that other's want?  Is recognition a universal aspiration?  Does everyone seek recognition?"  Quite possibly.  At different times of one's life, a person may not be interested in recognition but I think over-time there are likely moments for everyone where 'recognition for work' is sought.  Now i've differentiated and distinguished toxic fame from recognition.  Here's one more thing that I am also not including as 'proper recognition': formal credentials.  What about certifications, diplimas, degrees, or, say, a BAFTA award or academy award, or a writer's award for writing.  All of those formal recognitions of achievement are often vacant and pitifully trivial.  I've achieved some forms of those formal credentialized recognition and they're just little slips of paper, really.  This is not exactly a structured logical argument to acquire the distilled core definition of 'recognition' with supporting premises and all that, but basically it's just ideas related to that 'anchor thought' about recognition: that bloke seemed to experience genuine reward from being recognized.  The recognition wasn't fame nor formalized credential, just recognition.  And was inquisitive and curious about that.  An astonishing realization that I had was that formal credentials or achievements hold very little utility.  Accomplishments are important, but those formalized pieces of paper are practically never weilded and used for anything.  It's almost like casual unbiased (non-bureacratic, non-formal) recognition in some ways is as or more valuable because it can be enigmatic. When someone recognizes work that you've done and a person isn't trying to impress you, nor brown-nose you, nor being superficially polite or formal, in some ways (or entirely) that is some of the most valid form of recognition.  Having casual genuine recognition is often much more meaningful than some formal bureaucratic committee saying 'Well, congratulations, blah blah'.  There's something singularly validating about casual but authentic recognition. I guess one thing I've noticed is that casual unbiased recognition can be more moving and poignant than formalized credentials and both of those are better than toxic fame. Moving onto more ideas on recognition.  There are some so well known that they get a lot of people commenting and recognizing on their work, but that could get annoying.  The main clarifying premise I realized was that fame and recognition for your work are very different and the latter is the only valid (actually meaningful) quality.

 Shorten the ‘Item Elimination Lag’ Period to Create Time, Peace, and Productivity | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:59

What is the 'Period of Item Elimination Lag'? Part of this article is about 'How to acknowledge when an item is 'eliminate-able'' but most of it is actually about witnessing the unnecessary burden and doubt and distraught from avoidable uncertainty about keeping or discarding an item and advancing and evolving to the joy and efficiency of having things you like and use. How do you know when it's time for an upgrade, or something has become irrelevant in your life, and it's time to part with an item?  This post could be easily about relationships or referencing careers or even places, but for purposes of simplicity it will focus on material items.  You've parted with many items in your past personal and professional history.  Maybe you got an upgrade and sold the outdated item.  Maybe something became irrelevant or annoying and you just chucked it. Maybe something was junky and kept breaking and instead of repairing it you just discarded.  You probably have donated a few items (likely garments) as well. This post is about scrutinizing the logical criteria for eliminated something so there is less 'lag period'.  A lag period is when you are like kind of 'meh' about an item.  Where you haven't fully justified eliminating (selling, discarding, or donating) it, but it doesn't bring you joy, has lost most of its utility. That 'Lag Period' with an item is burdening emotionally.  Can you visualize what it would be like if you instantaneously (or within 5 seconds) knew and understood when something is no longer useful to you and that in your future a certain item wouldn't provide any utility?  You wouldn't have that 'emotional baggage clutter' of doubt and worry and wondering if you will need something or not!  You would just accordingly eliminate the item and then get an appropriate upgrade if necessary. This is why in the midst of finishing my book on minimalism (POPP of Minimalism aka 'Serious Minimalism') I wrote a mini-book on logical fallacies.  So much of Serious Minimalism is inextricably linked and paralleedl with self-integrity, self-honesty, and most importantly logic. If you were 100% logical about what you will need and practical in evaluating what will have utility in the future, there would be zero "Period of Item Elimination Lag".  This may sound unnecessarily scrupulous or outrageously fastidious to be so concerned with eliminating the "Period of Item Elimination Lag" (maybe will abbreviate that PIEL), but when you witness the doubt, burden, the uncertainty, and just the less efficient usage of time using a defunct, outdated, defective, or irrelevant item, you realize that trying to shorten that elimination lag is emotionally uplifting, creates more time, and is downright liberating!  Think of that image of Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol, where he was adorned with clinkety clanking chains and all kinds of clutter that weighed down upon his ghostly countenance.  Think of those items that you probably should part with but have not completely relinquished as similar to those 'Jacob Marley' clankety chains and manacles.  When will you sever those?  The shorter that Period of Item Elimination Lag, the less time you have where those clankety burdening chains devolve to uncertainty, and this article creates certainty to eliminate those, which is awesome. Here's an example. I had a desktop computer and a laptop.  The desktop computer didn't interest me much because I wanted to build my own computer, which I did.  And the laptop was too expensive initially and  was becoming outdated.  But I worried and considered what to do with those electronic devices for months and months.  If I would've shortened that Item Elimination Lag period by 90% or so I would've directly negated and completely evaded doubt and uncertainty and created more time and would've upgraded technology more expediently.  The negative effects of having an overly-lengthy Period of Item Elimination Lag works for smaller items, too.

 Money Like Water: Let Income Flow | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 12:02

I wrote this awhile ago (about three years ago, actually), discovered it amongst journal writings, and wanted to share it (and did audio version, too).  A lot of my views on money have changed in the interim of when I originally wrote this, but I thought it was fairly interesting. Money is just a medium -- like telephone wires are a medium for the Internet or phone calls or how water is the medium for a swimmer -- so it's not having a HUGE amount of money, or phone wires, or water, but it's being able to manuever, and thrive in that medium of money (or phone wires or water) or whatever the metaphor may be. Clearly, using the money-water example, if you're trying to get to an island.  Not knowing the medium of money (not being able to swim), you'll drown and say money is deadly, but it's not the money that drowned you, just like it wasn't the water that caused you to sink. Rather, it's your frickin' inability to manuever with money, your inability to swim, that caused you to file for Chapter 11 or sink. Money is good, therefore. Contrary to anything about it connoting evil. Money is very good.  I do like the absence of money in the Star Trek universe.  That's delightful, but until Earth progresses to that level of economic maturity, money suffices. Sure you could say water caused the New Orleans flooding, the Indonesian Tsunamis and such, but does that make water "bad"? Certainly not. People claim money gives birth to malign focus on the Enron scandals the Watergate scenarios where money seems to lure people into corruption. It does no such thing. It is a very clean, very efficient, very affluent ("flowing") commodity, like water. Money like water. Money is as good as water, and water is very healthy and good. For the longest period of time, I thought materialism was death and spirituality -- reading buddhism, christianity, hinduism, Taoism, any religion was the path to freedom. All that spiritual mindfulness, fasting, bizarre diet changes and such was certainly provocative and insightful, but ultimately, the effect is just being more knowledgeable about religion. Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett -- to me, these are incredibly spiritual people. Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Jesus -- sure, they are spiritual, most certainly, but they are the rebellious spirits. The aforementioned are the spiritual people who flow with money. Another vision of wealth is the top-floored high-operating Type-A personality CEO who gets 3.5 hours a sleep a night has 10 cars, 3 houses, 3 divorces, and is always struggling to maintain his status as top dog. That is not being successful with money. That situation is akin to swimming with weights tied to your legs. Truly managing and understanding money is not hoarding it to win a prize, but flowing in its exchange. Money is a medium for exchange. All those business that "take your money" are giving you something in exchange. Most of the time those businesses have done an excellent job of creating the impression that what they offer is not only worth the price it says on the sales tag, but that those goods and services are things that you cannot replicate. In the web design business, I am constantly astonished by people who want me or others to design them a web page and pay 500 - 5000 for it! When there are free, simple-to-use programs that automatically create your web page for you! Very few goods and services besides food are things that you "need" to purchase. Here's another thing that I frequently misconstrue. Performance energy and creativity is mutually exclusive with being rich. It seems like all the people who rock out and have fun and are on stage are poor and the rich are cooped up in offices. Not true! Mick Jagger is a millionaire. Being rich is not mutually exclusive a great and balanced life. A little Value- Update It's abnormal to not be working -- 95% of americans have a job. But I'm interested in the "profession" not the "job". There's a LOT of itinerant people on the west.

 Maximize Your Time | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:48

The main focus of this article is to cease wasting time. What's the best procedure for doing that? 1. Define '100% not wasting time'. 2. Do the not_wasting_time actions. 3. Re-evealuate #1, accordingly update #2, if necessary. 4. Repeat. The a...

 Survival is More than Merely ‘Not Dying’ – Survival is Connecting with Peace | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:40

Survival is: connecting with peace disconnecting from toxic places and people nutrition and health little things that keep you going understanding that logic and imagining are your friends!   Survival is not: hope wishful thinking acceptance of not having necessities forgetting nor neglecting that you're merely surviving Connecting with Peace In an extreme survival scenario this could mean something as simple as envisioning someone or something beautiful or peaceful.  That's important because it ensures you stay disconnected from the bleakness and dismal misery that can infect one in survival.  Connecting with someone thing peaceful (even if it's just a thought or a beautiful ocean front or sunset) keeps your bearings.  It installs the truth that this survival is temporary and not an outcome.  It's too easy to feel lost if you don't remember to connect with something peaceful.  Always have something peaceful and beautiful that you can access visually, in thought, auditorially, or through the other senses. Disconnecting from Toxic Environments and People In extreme survival this would mean disconnecting from stinging cold that causes frost-bite, vermin, insects, and/or other dangerous things that cause direct harm.  But more interestingly, outside of extreme survival, toxic environments and people can have a worse impact than merely 'weighing down 'on a person.  Toxic environments and people can distort one's future and make connecting with one's reality (survival is not one's reality; survival is a temporary coping situation through which one passes) cumbersome or full of obstacles.  Disconnecting from toxic environments and people instantly removes huge obstacles and safety is often much more accessible when that occurs. Nutrition and Health In extreme survival, clean H20 is the first concern.  3 days without that and no one lives.  But beyond getting fluids, nutrition and health is important or else the body and mind withers and a lot of survival is keeping those two things intact as much as possible.  Survival is almost never a joyful experience one would want to repeat, so one has to look at survival as keeping mind and body intact and 'together' to extract oneself from that survival situation.  Outside of extreme survival, one could be having a tough time with work or other things in life.  Still, that should be looked at as temporary and keeping mind alert and body protected and continuing to grow, is important.  This could involve increasing ingestion of healthier foods.  Many people whom are 'surviving' (and may not even know it, suffering from a bleak career, and distressing relationships, and otherwise bleak circumstances) can always improve their situation through health and nutrition. Little Things that Keep you Going These little things that don't change the situation but boost your spirits are important.  Maybe this is brushing your teeth regularly, keeping yourself clean, maybe it's hygiene, maybe it's doing breathing exercises.  There exist 'little things' that don't change the macrocosmic situation, but keep one a smidgen bit happier or more uplifted.  Whatever those seemingly trivial things are, don't neglect them.  The momentum that 'trivial little things that keep you going' create may save your life because they ward off misery, keep you feeling sane and clear, and are something you can control. Understanding that Logic and Imagining are Always Your Friends This sounds strange, counter-intuitive, or contradictory, but accepting and utilizing logic and imagining as friends, as aids, as guides, is critical and vital to survival.  Logic keeps the blade of your mind sharp.  Without logic one can succumb to irrationally believing scams or lies or, even worse, doubting one's abilities.  The value of logic is usually under-estimated.  Logic can slice away toxic people, and it can get you to engineer plans that achieve dreams.  It's complicated,

 Life is Serious: Engineer (and Get to) Your own Goldilocks Zone | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:46

Life is Serious and requires an according amount of precisely-engineered sincerity; this applies to one's subjective personal and professional career whatever that may be. That sentence is technically the thesis if you will of this mini-post. Ric...

 Allegorical and Non-Allegorical Talking Animals in Literature | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:12

Too much allegory can make a person question is everythign an allegory? Is this a metaphor for that? And meaning breaks down. That's not fun. Meaning is good. So the focus os this post is mainly how having an agenda in writing a fictional story increases cogency (and memorability) of the story. I just reread the plot summary of The Trumpet of the Swan, a book, as a kid I loved. I had to reread parts of it because its plot was so incomprehensible. A Swan can't make a sound. The father of that swan (another swan) steals a trumpet, so the swan can then vocalize with the trumpet. This was after a humanoid 'Sam' and Sam's humanoid teacher teach the swan how to use a chalkboard. The Trumpeter Swan, Loiue, then flies around starts a jazz gig to pay back the trumpet that was apparently stolen by the father swan. I was flabbergasted rereading that plot story. One reason was it's so outragous. The personification of animals. Additionally, the most interesting I realized is that when you read that book as a kid, a swan stealing a trumpet, using a chalkboard and the like is unquestionably possible even 'normal'. But now after studying biology and anatomy a bit, the fantastical fiction of E.B. White is not astoundingly 'dumb', but rather, just fascinating at what's "normal" in a youthful mind. Orwell's Animal Farm is another book with animals personified. It's decidedly the complete opposite extreme, an allegorical 'fairy table' depicting the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism. Orwell himself, a mind eons ahead of his time, was a democratic socialist. But the differences between E.B. White's book and Animal Farm are very distinct despite their superficial similarity (hey they're both full of talking animals). Animal Farm seems much more 'binded and cogent'. They'r both books full of talking animals, but E.B. White's talking-animal story IS just a fairy tale and a story about a swan playing a trumpet to compensate for initial vocal deformity. Orwell's book, also chock full of talking animals, seems more cogent in the mind. Strangely, the personification of animals in Orwell's story seems decidedly normal, doesn't it?! Orwell's masterful penmanship is one reason, another reason is that talking animals was a modus operandi for communicating an opinion and a view of Orwell's. The differences between these stories, despite their superficial similarity is interesting. Likely the words and phrases and depicted demanour of Orwell's animals was planned and designed to execute very specific purposes and to activate certain things in the mind of the reader. E.B. White's story is just a delightful story. I'm not criticizing any of those, but I do note that hte plot of a story that's written and designed intricately is more memorable and seems less fantastical. It's easier to recall the basic plot structure or the plot skeleton of animal farm; it's not as sprawling. Why? Because the book is an allegory and has much more of a purpose than to simply tell a fictional story. Orwell's book has an agenda and an opinion interwoven into the book. E.B. White's book (while delightful) is simply just a story told for, well, delight. There's nothing wrong with a delightful story, but a story told allegorically with layers tends to stick in one's mind more effectively because it is and seems more intricately and cogently engineered (I was going to use the word 'woven', but complex allegories are more likely intention than woven, eh?!).

 Who was Aristotle? Who Cares? Aristotle Was an Idiot! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:10:11

Plato taught Aristotle, and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great.  Great teachers tutor other Greats.  This post is about the middleman, if you will, in that ''learning upon shoulders of giants'' sequence of instruction: Aristotle.  That's where the greatness ends.  I go into detail in, and I encourage you to listen to (if you have any interest in Aristotle and/or philosophy/logic), the 60 minute podcast. I mention my 4 Responses to 4 Philosophers set of papers I did for an independent study. May add [Transcriptions from the podcast], but if you're really into this post, just listen to the podcast ffs.  That's where I indulge and elaborate with profusely tremendously astronishing detail how, where, why, and when Aristotle is an idiot.   If you do deem him otherwise (your brainwashing is severe....oh well, not my prob!) just listen to my podcast. Thanks for listening and/or reading. Aristotle lived in Athens much of his life, founded a school of philosophy called the Lyceum, and is usually reckoned to be the founder of logic. But at about the same time, there was another flourishing school of logic in Megara, about 50km west of Athens. Less is known about the Megarian logicians, but they seem to have been particularly interested in conditionals, and also in logical paradoxes. Eubulides (whom we met in Chapters 5 and 10) was a Megarian. Priest, Graham (2000-09-12). Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Kindle Locations 1519-1522). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.   Another important philosophical movement started in Athens around 300 BCE. It was called Stoicism, after the porch (Greek, ‘stoa’) where early meetings were held. Though the philosophical concerns of Stoicism were much wider than logic, logic was an important one of them. It is generally supposed that Megarian logic exerted an influence on the Stoic logicians. At any rate, a major concern of Stoic logicians was the investigation of the behaviour of negation, conjunction, disjunction, and the conditional. It should also be mentioned that at around the same time as all this was happening in Greece, theories of logic were being developed in India, principally by Buddhist logicians. Priest, Graham (2000-09-12). Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Kindle Locations 1522-1527). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.   There remains for consideration a part of this inquiry which all our predecessors called meteorology. It is concerned with events that are natural, though their order is less perfect than that of the first of the elements of bodies. They take place in the region nearest to the motion of the stars. Such are the milky way, and comets, and the movements of meteors. It studies also all the affections we may call common to air and water, and the kinds and parts of the earth and the affections of its parts. These throw light on the causes of winds and earthquakes and all the consequences the motions of these kinds and parts involve. Of these things some puzzle us, while others admit of explanation in some degree. Further, the inquiry is concerned with the falling of thunderbolts and with whirlwinds and fire-winds, and further, the recurrent affections produced in these same bodies by concretion. When the inquiry into these matters is concluded let us consider what account we can give, in accordance with the method we have followed, of animals and plants, both generally and in detail. When that has been done we may say that the whole of our original undertaking will have been carried out. Aristotle (2007-03-02). Aristotle's Collection [ 29 Books] (Kindle Locations 17770-17778). Publish This, LLC. Kindle Edition.     Fire, air, water, earth, we assert, originate from one another, and each of them exists potentially in each, as all things do that can be resolved into a common and ultimate substrate. The first difficulty is raised by what is called the air. What are we to take its nature to be in the world surrounding the earth?

 Atheism FTW: How to Get Started with Atheism and Be Mathematically Precise with Kindness | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:10:54

  No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step toward solution.  Do something. - George F. Nordenholt     The single most valuable human trait, the one quality every schoolchild and adult should b...

 LinuxGeekoid: Building My PC Rig – How to Build a Computer – s02e20 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:43

This is a compilation-collection of an enormous computer project, the largest computer hardware project I ever endeavoured and completed!  I go into details in the podcast but this is mainly vids of me building the computer.  I was originally going to post this vid compilation on my technology site, but posted it here, suitably as the technology post, as well.  Took 11 months of researching and saving up for parts, but project itself was something had wanted to do for about 16 years!  Very rewarding!  Some of the vids (like the Prologue and 'How to Build a Computer in Less Than 5 Minutes') are more just enjoyment of technology; the otherwise are more informative although the Prologue vid has a mix of both (being psyched and excited about the computer and some technical factoids/knowledge). How to Build a Computer in Less Than 5 Minutes! Prologue #1 CPU Instalation #2 CPU Fan and CMOS #3 RAM Installation and Ventillation Concerns #4 GPU and Hard Drive Installation #5 Cable Management #6 playlist for all the 'Building My PC Rig' vids

 Be the Cat Vet: What Does it Mean When Your Cat Hisses? Also, Circus Lion Trainers, Social Hierarchy, Screaming, and More! – s02e19 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:05:50

Hissing is perfectly normal. Hissing is not aggressive; it is defensive, one cat asking another to back off and give him more time to adjust. Disgruntled muttering is less desirable but still should be ignored. As long as there are no humans around to be claimed as territory and defended, the relationship should develop slowly and peacefully. Frazier, Anitra; Eckroate, Norma (2008-11-25). The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care (p. 40). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition. Basically, a cat's hiss is saying 'hey something (another cat, a different environment, confusing human behaviour) is making me feel nervous and/or uncomfortable or unsafe; I need space; I am not attacking you nor disliking you'.  That's all a cat's hiss means.  It is, granted, not an indicator that the felis catus is enjoying him/herself, but it also does not indicate an entire nor a dislike; a hiss is merely 'Hey, I'm uncomfortable, feel unsafe, and/or am scared about something; don't invade my space'.  That's basically what a hiss means. Jolly good to know! This next quote is quite lengthy and is from the stupendous fiction book 'Life of Pi' by canadian author, Yann Martel.  While the book is fiction, this excerpt includes some interesting true facts about animal behaviour. As an aside, that is why a circus trainer must always enter the lion ring first, and in full sight of the lions. In doing so, he establishes that the ring is his territory, not theirs, a notion that he reinforces by shouting, by stomping about, by snapping his whip. The lions are impressed. Their disadvantage weighs heavily on them. Notice how they come in: mighty predators though they are, “kings of beasts,” they crawl in with their tails low and they keep to the edges of the ring, which is always round so that they have nowhere to hide. They are in the presence of a strongly dominant male, a super-alpha male, and they must submit to his dominance rituals. So they open their jaws wide, they sit up, they jump through paper-covered hoops, they crawl through tubes, they walk backwards, they roll over. “He’s a queer one,” they think dimly. “Never seen a top lion like him. But he runs a good pride. The larder’s always full and–let’s be honest, mates–his antics keep us busy. Napping all the time does get a bit boring. At least we’re not riding bicycles like the brown bears or catching flying plates like the chimps.” Only the trainer better make sure he always remains super alpha. He will pay dearly if he unwittingly slips to beta. Much hostile and aggressive behaviour among animals is the expression of social insecurity. The animal in front of you must know where it stands, whether above you or below you. Social rank is central to how it leads its life. Rank determines whom it can associate with and how; where and when it can eat; where it can rest; where it can drink; and so on. Until it knows its rank for certain, the animal lives a life of unbearable anarchy. It remains nervous, jumpy, dangerous. Luckily for the circus trainer, decisions about social rank among higher animals are not always based on brute force. Hediger (1950) says, “When two creatures meet, the one that is able to intimidate its opponent is recognized as socially superior, so that a social decision does not always depend on a fight; an encounter in some circumstances may be enough.” Words of a wise animal man. Mr. Hediger was for many years a zoo director, first of the Basel Zoo and then of the Zurich Zoo. He was a man well versed in the ways of animals. It’s a question of brain over brawn. The nature of the circus trainer’s ascendancy is psychological. Foreign surroundings, the trainer’s erect posture, calm demeanour, steady gaze, fearless step forward, strange roar (for example, the snapping of a whip or the blowing of a whistle)–these are so many factors that will fill the animal’s mind with doubt and fear, and make clear to it where it stands,

 Fully Comprehending he Nitty Gritty of “Experience the Void” – s02e18 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:03

This is an excerpt from my minimalism book: Okay all the above real-life examples was anchoring you to the significance of this core idea, for the next couple of pages I will communicate in a variety of different ways the core definition of “Experien...

 Classical Music Appreciation: Johann Sebastian Bach – s02e17 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 14:00

Bach's musical career jump-start (big debut) was basically when got a gig as the court musician in Weimar, Germany at 23. The Longevity of Bach's Music It is fascinating to understand that Bach's music barely survived. It is unusual that a Baroque composer's music is available to our ears today for two reasons. One, most music in the 1700s was very ephemeral and not made to last. A piece of music may have been written for a special occasion and then discarded. Secondly, most composers only became famous after death. While an enormous amount of Bach's compositions are available today, because they were written not to last, it's astoundingly awesome that we have so much of Bach's Baroque brilliance to listen today. Bach's renown and the appreciation of his Baroque style and skill was applauded during his life, but it skyrocketed years and centuries after his death. These days discarding a composition written by Johann would be incomprehensibly silly but during the time he composed, just the opposite (keeping some musical compositions) was, at times, questionable. Conclusively because of the momentary purpose of composing and the fact that many composers only became famous after death, it's marvelously good that so many of Bach's pieces are accessible today.   Prolific in More Ways than One One fascinating factoid about Bach was the man had 20 (yes, Twenty) children betwixt two wives. If it were anyone other than a great composer that would seem unnecessarily excessive but for some reason it seems okay knowing that it was Bach, but still, if the average household is two children, having ten times that amount is, at the very least, slightly shocking. Some of his children, like Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and Johann Christian Bach, became composers themselves. A very prolific gig of Bach's was his job as cantor of Leipzig, Germany's St. Thomas Church. For that gig, which he started at 38, he wrote a big choral piece (aka cantata) for every single sunday and holidays for the entire year. He did that for four years total, equalling over 215 cantatas just for that 'gig', if you well. That is freakishly prolific, interesting, and impressive.   Bach's Style and How-To Listen and Appreciate Johann's Work Bach is Baroque. In many ways he may epitomize the Baroque era, possibly how some may agree that Mozart epitomizes the Classical era. Bach epitomizes the Baroque era for five solid reasons. One, his lifespan encompassed most of the Baroque era; Baroque is roughly 1650-1750 and Bach lived from 1685-1750. Secondly, Baroque music is considered the 'Romantic Era' of the 17th century in a way; very flowery, emotional, and swirly. The Romantic Era music makes Baroque music possibly sound rigid, but Baroque is very dynamic, but structured. Personally, I like Baroque as background music because it doesn't require intense active listening (but doing so is rewarding). Third, Bach was one of the most prolific Baroque composers to exist and therefore composed an enormous amount of baroque music. Fourth and Fifthly, Bach composed during the apex of the Baroque era and was one the last Baroque composers (before Haydn, more or less, kicked off the Classical Era around 1750). Conclusively, Bach epitomizes the Baroque era because: His lifespan coincided within the range of the Baroque Era (1650-1750) He was one of the last Baroque comosers The sound of his compositions and music is precisely what most Baroque music sounds like He composed and played music at the height of the baroque era His copious, prolific Baroque compisitions The timing of when he lived and died, his style, and his prolific compositions make Bach a musician and composer whom epitomizes the Baroque Era and worthwhile to appreciate, enjoy, and listen! Counterpoint and Fugue Two fancy shmancy musical words that are helpful to understand rudimentarily when listening to bach are 'counterpoint' and 'fugue'.

 What Friendship Criteria Do You Have? – s02e16 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:12

Here's a delightful musing on friendship. This musing probably started five years ago when an elderly woman with whom I was in email correspondence asked me something like 'what makes a friend?' or 'how would you define a friend?'. The questioned slightly floored me and stuck with me and I ruminated and pondered it over the years. Here's my most recent thoughts on what makes up friendship. Trustworthiness - Mandatory; Required (all other characteristcs are optional) 'Have Fun Times With' Helpful in Mobilizing Your TOWARD What You Want (i.e. learn about yourself intrapersonally or other extreme of helpful with a career like an agend is helpful to an actor) 'Upgrades Life/Work' (definitely how an agent would be to an actor or a friend who introduces you to people that are involved in future career) Admiration Likeability Safety 'Shared Good Historical Experiences With' I discuss all of these thoroughly in the podcast. Here's a vid I did on musings on friendship. The podcast is more polished because more of these 'friendship criterion' had emerged and crystallized by the time of the audio recording.  Still, the vid might be helpful in your ability to discard rubbish relationships, connect with quality friendships, and have a few superb friends. Trustworthy Trustworthiness is the one criterion that is mandatory for 'a friend'.  All other criteria are optional really.  For me, at least, is a friend isn't trustworthy, they are not a friend! Simple really! Helpfulness You can not share 'fun wild times' with a friend, and they could have zero impact on your career and they may be someone whom you don't admire, but they can be helpful. There do exist valid friendships like that. If you really admire someone, I have noticed that almost anything they say (even if it's droll or bland or meaningless) you often attribute tremendous meaning to, and that meaning ends up being helpful. So it's very possibly that if you befriend someone whom you admire (this is quite rare, but does happen) that they will also be very helpful. Examples of friends whom you don't admire, don't share fun times with, nor other qualities but are indeed trustworthy and helpful might be someone whom you kind of 'openly journal to', a friend whom you can share career, relationship, or health quirks or qualms to. It's good to have a friend who's helpful. Typically these types of friends you can share almost anything with and they offer a neutral (which is very awesome considering that most people respond negatively to things) or occasionally a helpful resposne. Often just having a friend who listens (and then responds not at all or not directly even) is incredibly helpful and poignant. 'Upgrades Life/Work' The best example I can think of for this criteria is an agent and an actor. I know of a couple of actors and their agent goes to parties, weddings, and is a genuine friend to that actor. Simultaneously, the agent likely considers that actor a friend, too, but the 'friendship' is based on upgrading each other's work. Not everyone with whom you work is a friend, but that's a very solid example of a 'friend' that has just the criteria of 'upgrades life/work'. You may not have 'fun times' with the person, the person may not be helpful in other areas, you may not admire the person, but if a person upgrades life/work effectivley and/or consistently for a decent amount of time, it's quite logical and natural to consider said person a friend with this type of criteria. Jolly good! Share/Have 'Fun Times' With This type of friend, if the friend only has this quality (with, of course, trustworthiness) (Which is a very valid quality) is the type of friend where things rarely ever get serious..  Things could be poignant or meaningful but usually this means a bit of light-heartedness.  But they are usually seriously fun. These friends are 'light', if that has any meaning. These types of friends are important.

 Voice Journal and Photo Journal (#3) – s02e15 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:50:33

            Long recent journal and about half-way through I switch to the photo-journal mode.   Some links to topics I covered towards the end of this freakishly long voice journal recording: Paris Syndrome Fear, ...


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