Thursday, July 28, 2011

So true

"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”

- Leonard Bernstein

The Six Mistakes of Man

Cicero (106 B.C. — 43 B.C.) was a man that had great influence in his time in the roman empire. That is, until he was killed for being a political pain-in-the-ass. (Though Marc Antony got pretty much served by Cicero's son for having him killed )

However, the man did something truly epic: He read, studied and found 6 common flaws which mankind exhibited over all of known history. A testament to their correctness is that they still apply today.

The Six Mistakes of Man

1. The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.
2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.
6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Amazing, isn't it? This is the stuff I would love to have learned earlier in life.

Dieting - the nerd way

Since the start of my week, I've been playing around with two diets, the first one is the slow-carb diet I wrote about earlier, the second is intermittent fasting, where you force your body into burning fat and give it some time to recuperate between all the eating for a while.

As the good people over at the hacker diet (Read it if you want a good grasp of the basics of keeping up a good diet!) noted : You don't know anything until you measure the results. This is probably where lots of diet fail, with people abhorring to measure their own physical inadequacy. Or just saying that they "feel good" and clothes "seem to fit better".

Personally, I've finally bought scales and with a simple spreadsheet in excel, I can't wait to measure my weight next time. Every weigh-in means more points of data, meaning that my diet and myself just became the subject of an experiment. I can't wait to take all my data and apply trend analysis on it.

I guess this means I'm a nerd. But i'll be a nerd with hard numbers to back the functioning of a method. How awesome is that? Maybe i'll even make a pie chart, that would be fun. For Science!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the 4 hour diet

Tim Ferriss wrote about this specific type of diet, making it an instant hit.

The idea is rather simple: Your body utilizes carbohydrates (sugars) as primary energy source. It needs those carbohydrates to keep your brain running. If there aren't any around in the food, it'll start consuming stored glycogen from the liver and the muscles. Those last about a day, and what then?

Well, turns out that building up fat reserves actually had use! When the stores of easy sugars are depleted, your body will (with some intermediary steps, IANAD*) start burning fat as its primary source of energy.

And that's the secret of the diet that's sweeping the nation right now. By not consuming any carbohydrates, you force your body to start ketogenesis and start burning fats.

Personally, I think there's a second reason why this works: Most meals consist of three components: Some vegetables and healthy stuff for minerals and vitamins and a source of protein (meat, fish, nuts, tofu, mushrooms, etc) for proteins.
Lastly, there's something I call filler: Rice, pasta, potatoes and bread and such, which is basically just lots of energy (calories) to make sure you actually eat enough of those for the day.

By removing that concentrated source of energy in the form of carbohydrates, you've just made it harder to consume energy, meaning that you should lose some weight.

And of course: you get to eat what you want as long as its not containing carbohydrates. Goodbye crisps, fries, bread. Hello steak!

For those interested, some information can be found here

* I Am Not A Dietician

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's not funny anymore how many problems exist because we think and act on absolutes. At a risk of invoking Godwin's law, you'd think that this lesson was learned after the second world war.

But sadly, absolutism is too ingrained in our language. From simple phrases such as "Father knows best", "White men can't jump" and "An ex is an ex for a reason" we somehow deduce that these absolutes must be true. 1 or 0, true or false.

Reality is ALWAYS more complex than you imagine it to be, though we struggle to constrain this complexity with language that imposes absolutes on it.

The worst thing is that actually knowing this does not make you any more immune to it. The only thing one can do is remain stoic in the face of the universe and cultivate an attitude that can only be described as the "Let's see what this is." of general semantics.

But gods, the evil this absolutism imparts. Us-them thinking, terrorism scares, muslim scares, killings in oslo, forcing of stereotypical behaviour, the inability to see beyond preconceptions and worst of all: ignoring and basically saying "NO" to a scary but beautiful complex world that is more surprising than you could ever even imagine in lieu of living a simple, safe and predictable life.

Healthy relationships and troubles

Funny, I've always thought that a good relationship required two healthy, sane and happy people to have a chance at staying together.

But we do not live in a perfect world, and no-one is perfect. Having spoken to people whom can only be considered damaged, and noticing how even the healthy couples have their own problems, I think I got this wrong.

A good relationship is when you both weather bad times and troubles. If it were just about the happy and nice times, then you'd be in disneyland.

This doesn't mean you should just stay in a dysfunctional relationship. It just means that if you can share your troubles with your partner, you can actually grow through them together, which is much more satisfying (And a stronger bond) than simply having had fun.

Sex rank

One of the important points that Athol Kay makes on his blog and in his book is his "sex rank". Simply put it is a number from 1 to 10 that indicates how attractive you are to the opposite sex.

For some reason, people tend to pair up with partners whom are equally attractive. Now this does not mean that some people aren't specifically more attractive to others; a 5 might be a 7 to a specific person. But in general we do see a trend (or at least an expectation) of people of equal attractiveness pairing up.

When a difference in this attractiveness starts to arise however, things become interesting.
The woman of the couple of sixes starts to really work on herself and becomes a seven. Suddenly, she is more attractive than her partner. This is where problems start, because attraction generally only happens with equal or better partners (Would you settle for less?)

Now step back and let's take a look at the death of a relationship: Things were great, even for years. But for some reason, one partner is starting to grow annoyed with the other partner. Little tensions arise, sex becomes nonexistent, both people start to become insecure and show their worst sides. Eventually, they break up and rationalise this by stating all the things they found annoying.

But what Athol shows is that this is not the reason for the relationship going awry. It might be the reasons you both see as the source of the breakup, but what simply happened is that one partner was losing attraction, leading to all the frustration and subsequent breakup.

You can't choose attraction.
You can however help it, by making sure that YOU work on your sex rank and increase it. That sounds abstract, but basically it comes down to : Be a better you. If you're a jobless slob, you should know the way already. If you're unhealthy and fat, start working out and lose weight.
Consider that you're not only doing this for yourself, but also as part of your effort to sustain a healthy and rewarding relationship.

So get your butt out and start doing something. (Like buying his book )

Monday, July 25, 2011

Freediving record

I stumbled upon this gem of a video.
Knowing how hard it is to hold your breath and cool whilst being submerged for four minutesmakes me respect this man deeply.
There is a lot of physical training and talent involved, but in the end, this is pure willpower in action. Training your mind and body to ignore the sense of drowning and slowly push the boundary further every time you do this.

And I'm really in love with the grace (and music) at the end of the ascent, as the light filters down more and more and more other divers join him for the last leg of a truly epic dive. These things make me happy to be alive.

Forming habits is still an amazing source of interesting speeches, talks and performances (Though since it became more known, the overall quality has dropped somewhat.)

One of the interesting ones lately is one on forming habits: A good role of thumb when forming new habits is that you need to do something for about a month before the habit becomes part of your own programming. So if there is a habit you'd like to change or add, simply do so for 30 days and you'll have changed.

Or you could just drop the habit, since after 30 days, you should have a pretty good view on keeping or losing a habit.

Athol Kay

Those who know me, should know that i've been reading up on the so-called manosphere blogs. That is, blogs that deal with game and pickup and are tailored at informing and teaching men how to attract and deal with women in the modern dating market, though I dislike the use of the word "market" in there.

When reading the articles in the manosphere, I keep getting the distinct feeling that it is filled with bitter, jaded and cynical people who seem to mourn the loss of an ideal world in which they previously dwelt. (And remember, you can't get cynical without actually caring about things. Cynicism is generally the result of a wish for a better world, not just the loss of hope.)

One exception to this, however, is Athol Kay. Instead of using game and pick-up techniques to.. well, pick up women and sleep with them, he is actively using principes from game to spice up the relationship with his wife, essentially bringing back the excitement and flirting that marks the start of any relationship.
And most importantly: he's doing it together with his partner instead of merely applying it on her. It seems to have become a communal thing in which both partners actively try to keep their relationship active and fun, which translates into jumping eachother like bunnies in spring and having a wonderful time doing so - together.

This is a world of difference when compared to the bar pick-up scene, where I always get the feeling that game is just going through the motions and in many ways just holding up another mask to get what you want. That this could lead to internal change is another discussion altogether though.

If this, coupled with the more palatable character of his theories interest you, I'd like to suggest that you read his blog, which can be found at or simply buy his book. His theories have been able to heal many relationships that would otherwise have been ended.

I still check his blog daily, and though I do not feel that I became a pick-up artist in the sense of the word, I do feel that these things can make me a better partner.