kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:

"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
-Hitler-
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Albert Einstein-



5/4/18 (19:21)

  • 18th street project is done with the construction phase. hope to have some good before and after pictures in the next week or so. pretty happy with the transformation. sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae and day to day crap that you lose sight of how far a place has come. overall, i think we did a real good job with it.
  • here's what i think is the ideal: when bad things happen in my life i should first think about what i did to bring these events on my doorstep. what did i do, or not do, that caused this situation? when good things happen in my life i should strive to think about the ways in which i got lucky or was aided by others. so, that's the ideal. it sure seems, though, that a lot of people have that completely flipped. bad things happen and it's always because of the man or the system or mommy and daddy or bad luck. good things happen and it's because i deserve it, i worked hard, i earned it.
  • switzerland is admired by many right thinking people and yet they have enacted a more racist and xenophobic law than any law i can think of trump having talked about, much less actually proposed. with 57.5% of the vote the swiss people voted to outlaw the construction of mosque minarets in switzerland. fucking racist white people....try looking up the racial demographics of switzerland if you want a laugh. best i could find was that they're 65% german, 18% french, and 10% italian. 3 shades of white is what passes for racial diversity over there. nazi scum. /sjw
  • i've heard a couple tim ferriss interviews, but never read his books. some of what he says sounds nice enough, but the whole idea just seems like a pipe dream for blue collar workers who are paid to actually work, rather than delegate and decide. no matter how efficient i become, 4 hours of work will never yield the same results as 40 hours of even inefficient and sluggish work. i've got a lot of tools, i've subcontracted and delegated plenty of low level tasks, but there's no way to get shit done if i'm not in the field swinging my hammer. he lives in a dream.
  • as a society we understand that physical work and pain lead to strength. we understand the same for mental work, pain, and fatigue. it doesn't seem like the same concepts transfer to emotional work or pain, however. emotional pain seems to be seen as something to be avoided at all costs. if someone says something that triggers you or makes you upset then the reaction is often to blame them for being callous. for the most part, we avoid movies that make us upset. we don't like being uncomfortable. i think we need to make more of an effort as a society, and as individuals, to become emotionally tough. unfortunately it seems that most of the discussions these days are going in the opposite direction.
  • i consider myself a hard worker, but part of that is because i kinda like the work i do. being under dusty houses and in attics and lying down on splintery wood is uncomfortable and difficult work. that said, for me it's not that hard because i've gotten accustomed to it and i like some aspects of it. the real thing is to work hard at hard work. if being under houses comes naturally to you then it's not really hard work for you. for me, hard work would be doing my taxes and talking to strangers for 40 hours a week. so, maybe i'm not a very hard worker after all.
  • sam harris got himself into a bit of hot water lately by talking about race and IQ. it's a big discussion that goes beyond the obvious stuff so if you want the truth on the kerfuffle then you'll need to spend about 4 hours to get a real idea of what the discussion was about and what the backlash (mostly with ezra klein/vox)was. what's interesting to me in the race stuff is that the questions tend to group around the core issue of blacks vs. whites, with the common questions being something along the lines of "why do blacks earn less than whites?" this is an interesting question and it seems to have a million facets to the answer (unless you're an ideologue, in which case there are typically just 2-3 answers per side). the more interesting question is "why do asians do better than blacks and whites?" asians have a legacy of oppression with the chinese exclusion act under Arthur and japanese concentration camps under FDR. asians were affected by redlining, just as blacks were. and while asian/black histories were still different in some key ways, it's also true that their current realities are vastly different. and while some white immigrant groups faced discrimination (as did asian populations) they are seen as mostly the privileged race, yet they're not doing as well as asians. whites don't make as much money as asians and they don't live as long as asians (or hispanics for that matter). so, what are asians doing that we should learn from? personally i don't buy into the history hypothesis as much as a lot of liberal thinkers do - i don't think that the oppression of our grandparents affects us as much as it's made out. they seem to think it's 80-100% of the equation, and i think it's probably closer to 35% (off the top of my head). so, again, "why are asians doing so well?" is a much more interesting question than "why are blacks not doing so well?"
  • in social science there's a lot of study about happiness. they try to measure it in different ways (self-reported, health outcomes, economic measures, etc.) and they try to craft experiments to nudge people toward greater happiness. but another way of thinking about it isn't to increase happiness, but, rather, to decrease unhappiness/suffering. i think these are different things and it's actually worth looking into the latter more than the former. happiness is a tough nut to crack, but lessening unhappiness seems easier. i bring this up because i'm generally leaning more towards the question of how to decrease suffering/unhappiness, but i'm also interested in the question of asian success. probably just because i'm a contrarian.
  • one rule that seems to hold in life is that you are the company you keep. you see this repeatedly reinforced in study after study. recidivism rates are highest amongst those who go back with their old friends after they get out of jail. they find that overweight people gain weight as their partners gain weight. drug addicts are more likely to relapse when they hang out with their drug addict friends. this is all very obvious stuff, and yet somehow people (at least the ones who need to learn the lesson most) don't seem to get it. i don't need to be with people so it's generally been pretty easy for me to not hang out with people who are bad news. i suppose it's harder for people who need attention and human interaction more.
  • meryl was driving down the street today and she saw a grown many punch a 4 year old in the face. wound up and punched him in the face like he was trying to knock him out; in public. she called the cops and followed the guy for a bit, but lost him and the cops came too late. probably won't get the guy. his wife or baby mama or whatever was there also and she apparently didn't even flinch. this guy is human garbage. i know that, in a way, he was probably just punching himself. his dad did it to him when he was 4 and now this 4 year old will do it to his kid. this is the most likely scenario. regardless of what has happened to this guy in the past, though, he's now a grown man punching a 4 year old so he's garbage. i probably would have done the same thing as meryl - call the cops and try to follow him in the car. but there's a strong part of me that knows i have a framing hammer in my truck and i wouldn't mind intervening in a situation like that. there's part of me that really would want to do that and there's part of me that's proud of the fact that i probably wouldn't, and there's yet another part of me that's really upset that i probably wouldn't. i guess if i had my way i'd just like to talk to the guy and convince him to be a better person. i'm sure that would work.
  • a lot has been made of the Australia gun buy back and how that affected their gun homicide rate. here's some interesting reading on it.

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