7/17 – Out of State Residents
Because we are travelling around the US for a couple of years the idea of a “state residency” is kind of irrelevant to us. Unfortunately, we pay a price for that. Right now in Illinois we are paying nearly double the price to camp in state parks. It is unfortunate that someone can’t just have US residency and be treated equally across the states. The US really isn’t set up for mobile people and many of the institutions encourage a type of state-level nationalism. We can’t find healthcare that is affordable and covers multiple states, and we pay a higher price for things because our IDs are from somewhere else. I recognize the benefits of experimentation among the states and allowing most of the laws to be created and enforced at a local level, but I think that can happen without discriminating against fellow Americans (or really any humans…)
7/21 – Facebook
I’ve been listening to Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Workweek while biking. It has been fantastic and I’m trying to implement some of the suggestions into my life. One of the things he mentioned that really resonated with me was getting rid of time wasters and things that seem important but really aren’t. For me, the biggest thing in this category is Facebook. While I enjoy Facebook a lot it has a way of sucking hours out of my day (sometimes in big chunks and sometimes in many small chunks) and I am rarely better off in my life. So, for a week I am trying to not really use Facebook. I’m checking the message portion because that is a main form of communication for me but I am not engaging in discussions or reading through the negative sludge that tends to accompany posts. My Instagram is still linked to Facebook though to share personal things in my life with family/friends and such.
Overall it has been a wonderful experience for me. I am happier and a ton more productive. Instead of mindlessly searching Facebook on my app I am engaging in more conversations, taking time to do little spot work-outs (a quick 90-second plank or 30 push-ups or 5 pull-ups or something), and doing more work and writing. I am more productive and happier.
There is something about online social networking that causes people to throw social norms of politeness and kindness out the window. Take, for example, what happened on my wall today. Last night I went out to dinner with my wife and one of her friends, we went to a vegan restaurant in Chicago and I shared a picture of the vegan milkshakes we got. There were a few comments and questions about how a milkshake can be vegan, I don’t mind those because they came from people I know in real life and because they seemed genuinely curious. Then, there was one comment along the lines of “I bet they aren’t really vegan because they probably use refined sugar”, this comment came from someone I don’t know personally… we are only online “friends”. First, this person is making huge assumptions without asking any questions or doing research. Second, he seems to be posting a comment simply to be combative and suck the joy out of anothers experience. I can’t imagine he would do this in “real life”. If he saw a friend of a friend walk out of a vegan ice cream shop and overheard them saying they can’t wait to eat the vegan milkshake I doubt he would interrupt them and say “I bet that’s not vegan”. But online this type of “you are wrong and even though I don’t know you I am going to spew negativity on you and try to establish my own superiority” attitude runs rampant.
I don’t want to give up social networking for good, I think it serves a valuable purpose and is going to be a necessary tool for interacting for a long time. But, I need to find a way that is healthier for me. Maybe I’ll trim my “friends” or maybe I’ll just ignore comments and turn off notifications. I don’t know, but I’m much happier and productive without that blue temptation called Facebook.
7/31 – Quotes
I’ve been listening to and reading “4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss and it is packed full of quotes that I love. Here are a few:
- “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect” – Mark Twain
- “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.” – Dave Barry
- “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” – Warren Bennis
- “It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than go right in chains” – Thomas Huxley
- “By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day” – Robert Frost
- “On this path, it is only the first step that counts.” – St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney
- “Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer” – Niccolo Machiavelli
- “Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel coast to coast without seeing anything.” – Charles Kuralt
- “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something… almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs