Self Improvement

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An Inescapable Tyranny?

Some time ago I explored the workings of brains, and therein as well as in the discussion that followed, I hinted that I would take up related matters at some point. That day has arrived for one of them. It seems to me we each operate under a tyranny that is inescapable—at least permanently and meaningfully inescapable. But then, I am probably showing my ignorance with that statement.

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NonE. Leads the Way Again

Today Strike the Root published an essay by NonEntity, titled Ego/Rights/Resentment/Entitlement, which I found very thought-provoking. But I’m also a little bummed.

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What Does “Ego” Mean to You?

I ask because I have lost count of the number of individuals who’ve independently brought up the subject with me recently ... and without knowing that I was thinking about it too. As a conversation seems to want to happen, I’m happy to begin it—but between truffle-making and other work to be done before undertaking some travel, I may not be able to give it the attention I’d like.

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It's really easy!

It's really easy to make a fool of myself. Really. I do it on a regular basis. (I'm sure this is not news to any who have been paying attention!)

But I must say, it's fun and enriching to do so, and that is why I continue this pursuit.

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Humans In the Wild ... Would Look Like What?

I don’t recall how I came upon it, but I have spent far too much time mulling the various messages offered by the essay You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss. In an effort to move on and get something productive done today, I hereby announce my intention to fob off at least a few of them on to you readers.

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January Twoth, The Journey

TONIGHT, January twoth, 2008, and each night hereafter for about eight nights, there is a free series of interactive discussions on something called "The Journey." I cannot vouch for this one way or the other, and some parts of me say that it's mega "woo woo" while other parts of me say, Cool stuff! It's a form of personal inquiry and cleansing on an emotional and cellular level, maybe, if I get it right. I have a friend who has been studying it now for quite some time and is a certified practitioner in the method and it has done wonders for her.

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In Which the Snake Starts a Shedding

Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve been having a lot of fun the past several days, which culminated—after a very full day of baking for me yesterday—in a raucous, chaotic, fun New Year’s celebration. Lobo’s cell phone started pinging regularly in the late afternoon our time, with texted New Year’s wishes from friends in Belarus; it continued somewhat as the transition swept this continent, and also bled over into some phone calls. That was a pleasant, fairly sustained addition to the celebratory mood. The snolfs once again had a piñata, filled not with candy but with other treats—coupons from Lobo and me for various goods or services (like taking their turn at dishes), money, and real money (junk-silver quarters)—it resisted the onslaught longer than any of its predecessors, then provided some enormous ersatz party hats once it did succumb to the stick.

So, we had a very nice holiday celebration. Underneath much of it, however, and beginning around Thanksgiving, I’ve felt a current of change beginning within me. Those of you who’ve been around a good while know that I am not in the habit of making new year’s resolutions—my position has always been if change is needed or desired, it should be undertaken then, not left to wait for a “special” turn of some arbitrary time-marker. On the other snakey coil, if one comes up from the bottom of the pool near one of those special dates, delaying changes simply for the sake of avoidance of the date would be just as silly. Thus it is that I’m starting to shed some old, now unhelpful ways today ... consider yourself forewarned: self-indulgent rambling ahead.

Jorge's picture


Wendy has long been into frugality and voluntary simplicity, a way of living which is becoming more and more popular as the economy tanks. We see reflected in the blogs. Many people, who do not normally talk about frugality are now doing so. Two examples are Karen de Coster and J. D. Tuccille (Wendy has linked to them as well) I have also seen it in some tech blogs I read. In short, this is becoming a very popular topic.

However, as good as all the advice may be, there is something missing. Planning. It is fine to cut coupons, but we cannot since they are not offered in Costa Rica. It is also fine to turn your thermostat way down, but I do not have a thermostat. In fact, my heating and air conditioning costs are exactly zero, so this is not an area I can save in. Likewise, I can give good advice on cutting back your food costs, but it would involve living in a year-round temperate climate and growing 80% of your own food. Not applicable to many people.

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Anyone Here Done Any Fasting?

That’s probably the last question y’all would expect from a candy-making snake, and particularly at this time of the year. But it’s for real—I’m thinking about undertaking a fast and would appreciate input from anyone who’s done it before.

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A Motion to Resurrect an Ancient Word and Approach to Our “Community”

I recently let slip that my view of the pro-freedom community as “family” had started to change. I hesitate to say more at this point, because my thinking is still in process, but other conversations here have started to weave a tapestry into which I feel somewhat comfortable with thinking out loud. And I’ve no doubt that sharing my half-spun, somewhat woolly threads will allow further exploration, to all our benefit.

Before we slip into the garden glade, I want to make it clear that this line of thinking was not my original idea: a cherished friend dropped the idea-seed into my mind, and it’s been working in there ever since. It’s my understanding that my friend prefers a measure of anonymity, so I shan’t be pointing to direct sources of this individual’s ... besides, the seed came in private conversation. Anyway, my mystery friend deserves all the credit for the idea, and I will take all the responsibility for my usual bumbling, rambling presentation of it.

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Drop Out of the Mainstream Economy and Enjoy Your Life More?

Readers who have perused my recent rantings on the current economic landscape may find all that at odds with the quote that currently appears atop the sidebar: “Life should be more than just the passage of time; it should be the enjoyment of time as it passes.” While it is true that I am not enjoying the current crises, nor the prospect of what’s still to come, I do mean to do my best to turn the large shipment of lemons coming our way into lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon freeze, lemon chicken ... you get my point.

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Of Love and Power and Anarchy

Over at Check Your Premises, Francois Tremblay has finally completed his two-part essay on love. For convenience, here’s part one; and here’s part two.

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I Have Problems With Some “Scientific” Perspectives

I am finding the ongoing changes in and challenges to my thinking interesting, and sometimes even amusing. To be clear (and repetitive, I know), I have been a science-oriented person as far back as I can remember—wondering about how things work and how to test ideas and wanting proof for everything. I still consider myself a scientist, even though I have not worked in that realm for years ... yet the way some individuals apply scientific theories is problematic for me.

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While I’m at the Bottom of the Pool ...

Yes, that’s where I am again ... I have lots of ideas brimming in my mind, but something doesn’t seem right about addressing any of them here right now. Not entirely sure why, but I trust my intuition, so there it is.

Anyway, over at Check Your Premises, Francois Tremblay has posted on one of the issues I’m pondering. So, while my tongue is tied, some might find his posts on The True Self, Seat of Love worth considering.

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My Closing Thoughts in the Agorism–Personal Freedom–Relationships Discussion

Well, Joey has offered his final thoughts in our conversation, at least for now. I for one feel some sense of relief, because the thing had started to sprawl across several blogs as well as subjects, and it was getting too large for me to keep track of it all! A few pointers to some of the participants (links are to their latest contributions to the discussion, as of this writing): FSK’s Guide to Reality; David Gross at The Picket Line; and Kent McManigal. While I have much to say on each of the topics we’ve tossed around, I have neither the time nor the inclination to try to do them all justice in this sitting. Instead, I will mention that a primary raison d’être for my part of this blog is to explore these issues; and I encourage any interested invididuals to explore the archives here and elsewhere for previous ramblings on the subjects. All I’ll offer today are some general observations in response to what I perceive to be Joey’s central themes.