• To understand how something works, find a way to break it

    This is just a reminder to myself to think about the idea (in the title of this post).

    Nicolas Taleb mentioned it, I think in his book of aphorisms. It’s such a valuable insight.

    It’s also an example of the value of asking interesting questions. (Perhaps I should make a list.) An example for such a question is: How can this be easier?

    This one asks: How to break it?

  • The One Rule For Fighting

    I mean fighting verbally. Quarreling. The rule is this: “Talk about yourself and not the other person.”

    That’s it. You no longer accuse, you only speak what you think and what you feel.

    “I believe that you did this on purpose.” vs. “You did this on purpose.” Or even better: “I feel angry because I believe you did this on purpose.”

    (I picked this up while reading the book “Nonviolent Communication”. What a great book that is!)

  • Fear of Death

    We want to control everything. That’s why some have a fear of flying. It seems out of control. Such a complex machine, so many ways it could fail. The pilots are just human. And there was once a case where an air traffic controller made a mistake and two planes crashed in mid-air…

    We want to feel safe and there are two ways to achieve that: Control everything or trust.

    We can’t control the proceedings of a flight, but we can trust that everyone involved is a professional, for instance.

    But we have to die anyway. We can try to control it, live healthy, look into longevity, but in the end.. well, we will die. We have to let go of control, we have to trust that the universe is benevolent or despair that it may not be.

    What if we let go of the fear today? Are we afraid that we will not step out of the way when the bus approaches? Or can we trust that some mechanism in us will make us avoid stepping in front of it? Or maybe a higher power will save us?

    Besides, what if our alleged control is just an illusion? What if we are a watcher of a movie, who believes that he is influencing how the story unfolds?

    I suppose it’s not important to answer any of those questions. But I believe it’s good to make peace with the fact that we cannot control some things and then we should just let it go. Either by trusting or by avoiding.

    Of course I can avoid taking an airplane, but I won’t avoid living my life.

  • All The People I've Met

    In all the years I’ve been alive I’ve met so many people. Some were in my life for a while and then disappeared. Others have been around for decades. Many I’ve met just briefly.

    All these other lives.. Somehow, when glancing shallowly, they all seem less rich, less interesting than me, but that’s of course an illusion. In all likelihood I’m boring and they have rich amazing lives.

    At least I hope they do. Some do, for sure. Others probably struggle? I hope not.

    I’d like to say: It was nice to meet you all. I wish we had the time to get to know each other better.

    Perhaps we all meet again somehow? That could be interesting. What if we had a culture that somehow required us to meet 10 years after we last saw someone? Sounds like something from an episode of Star Trek. But that’d be a fun social experiment. Ok, maybe not always fun. Emotional, more likely.

    I doubt it would be boring.

  • An independent thinking failure

    A few years ago my friends got into Bitcoin. And I’ve decided it’s B.S. and did not mine my own coins or invest any money in it. A year later they were swimming in money and I had missed out.

    I don’t like to follow the masses (and the coin people were the masses to me given that I’m in tech), but when it comes to money markets the “trend is your friend” and the majority is therefore right, because in the markets it moves the price needle so to speak.

    Well, the future will show if cryptographic currencies will prevail. It looks like it. But future or not, I’ve missed the boat. But it doesn’t mean independent thinking is bad. On the contrary. Sometimes I’m just wrong.

    Luckily I believe I’ve become more open minded since then.

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