I've always been pretty mediocre. Except for the ages of 6 to 12. But now I learned something. I found a compass.Read More
The state of affairs on day zero. Let's move forward to square one.
I should've chosen to run a marathon just like everyone else when they hit midlife. Or perhaps get into videogames: pickup The Legend of Zelda where I left it in 1990 and finish the entire series (Wikipedia lists 17 games as of 2016). But instead I'm choosing the most grueling training camp in the world.
To go from ground zero to square one... and then to square one hundred.Read More
Well, this is just the beginning and I will be posting frequently about my preparation (mental, physical, nutrition & supplementation, etc.) as a way to leave a record of progress, challenges, commitment levels. Also to see if this experiment yields any positive results in a 40-year-old... I've always been delusional and I want to believe that I have a shot at the June 2017 event. It is now September 2016. The 10,000-hour rule to master anything can be shortcut with ultra focused deliberate practice, I know it.Read More
I failed to gamify the situation. I should have viewed my endeavors as little games, each with its own set of ways and rules and avoid trying to apply a single template of fairness to everything. In school, the more I studied before a test, the higher my score. This rule doesn't apply proportionately in the real world.Read More
I never liked history. How was I to make sense of the humongous data dump that we were subjected to during so many years in the classroom? Monarchs, battlefields, martyrs, saints, kingdoms, inventions, conquests, everything presented in discrete bits disconnected from each other... Then one day not long ago, I purchased the three volumes of A History of The Crusades, by Steven Runciman. The edition was so beautifully put together by Folio Society that I began reading immediately. And I didn't stop until I finished the third volume.Read More
This is the most important benefit of them all and one that I recently discovered. When I know that I need to work on some important task but I don't feel like doing it (welcome procrastination!), the solution is to change my state. There are three tactics to change one's state.Read More
... And whenever a fire breaks out, some divine seizure comes over the cats. The Egyptians stand at intervals and try to keep the cats safe, but if they fail to extinguish the fire, the cats slip between or leap over them and rush into the flames...Read More
Currently reading a biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton. In one of his books, he reminisces about departing the port of Bombay toward Africa, the beginning of his expedition to be the first white man to find the source of the Nile:
Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks [he had written on sailing], is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Home, one feels once more happy. The blood flows with the fast circulation of childhood... A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope, -the three sister Graces of our moral being.
Then, regaining somewhat his composure, he adds: "Somewhat boisterous, but true."
And this one... our heart aches when we try to imagine it: snow leopards do not attack humans. Unlike tigers or lions, there must be something in their brain wiring that prevents them from harming people. So, many times, they are chased and cornered by humans, and stoned to death without offering any resistance :( not cool humans, not cool.Read More
Reading the "explosive national bestseller" SEAL Team Six, Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper, we stopped at the following passage that comes after the author had helped in an operation in Iraq that blew up an enemy compound.
"I did have a moral concern about having killed for the first time... During a visit home, I talked to Brother Ron. "I killed in combat for the first time. Did I do the right thing?"
"You lawfully served your country."
"How is this going to affect me as far as eternity goes?"
"It won't have a negative affect [sic] on your eternity."
His words comforted me..."
The above passage immediately reminded us of an epic exchange seen in True Detective:
Marty: I mean, can you imagine if people didn't believe, what things they'd get up to?
Rust: Exact same thing they do now. Just out in the open.
Marty: Bullshit. It'd be a fucking freak show of murder and debauchery and you know it.
Rust: If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit; and I'd like to get as many of them out in the open as possible.
Marty: Well, I guess your judgment is infallible, piece-of-shit-wise. You think that notebook is a stone tablet?
Rust: What's it say about life, hmm? You gotta get together, tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the god damn day. Nah. What's that say about your reality, Marty?
In the preface to his book Why Beauty Is Truth, Ian Stewart provides a glance at the importance of symmetry:
"Symmetry [...] plays a central role at the frontiers of physics, in the quantum world of the very small and the relativistic world of the very large. It may even provide a route to the long-sought Theory of Everything.
These concepts [those of quantum physics and relativity] , and more recent ones at the frontiers of today's physics, could not have been discovered without a deep mathematical understanding of symmetry."
Well, it seems that one famous and talented (indeed, our favorite) movie director had an innate understanding of it. Today, we stumbled upon this simple yet exquisite video about symmetry in Wes Anderson's films. Thanks @kogonada for sharing it with the world.