Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"What is thy name?" And he answered saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many." - The gospel of Mark.

You are not a singular individual. There is no true "personality" that you hold. Granted, some of the personalities are worn more often and can be considered to be like an old coat. Warm, safe and yours.

But still you change. Not just through growth, becoming a different person over time, but in seconds, taking on the guise of your social role. With your parents, you are a son. With your friends, you become a socialite. Your personality changes to suit the expectations of the situation.

Consider your mind to be a large coatrack. It holds many coats that can be worn. Some for summer, some for winter and even some for rain. All these personalities exist because of a certain need for them to exist.

In a way this means you could be anyone. If the need is there and is recognized as such by your mind. Some roles, however, will not appear, as there are still personal preferences. Most personalities share underlying traits and preferences. What we mistakenly call personality is simply the total of these underlying traits. What someone really is, discarding impulses to be in a specific way.
In other words : I prefer yellow summer coats.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forever alone

There is an internet meme of the forever alone guy. A person who will never know love, and will live (and die) alone. Sure, it's okay to feel crappy about being single for a while, but it doesn't make sense. It is actually hard to remain alone for the rest of your life.

This comic really describes it very nicely: For all of those who are afraid to remain alone or fear that they will never find a nice mate: Realize that you're the result of generation after generation of genetic winners. You are literally the best evolution had to offer. And you actually worry?

We are the result of millions of years of natural selection on one and one trait alone: Being able to reproduce. Why do you think sex is so nice and why we tend to fall in love with each other so easily?

So don't be afraid. Being a human, you're a sexual creature whose instincts are to bond with a partner. It'll happen. Just make sure you actually come in contact with the opposite sex, so the bond can develop. They have the same instincts, after all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Diet update(1)

So far, the diet schedule I'm on seems to work. (That would be Intermittent fasting a few days per week and slow-carb/low-carb).

A few things have become noticable:
- I notice that I'm not eating quite as much as previously. It's hard to eat as much as previously when you mostly consume fat and protein which satisfy hunger more. Also, my portion size seems to have shrunk.
- My muscles are quicker to tire. I don't feel low on energy, but I notice it while cycling and doing pushups. The stamina is lower and high-intensity activity quickly saps me of my strength.
- Fasting has become something akin to a second nature. It's so easy just not to eat up until dinner that I've also become comfortable in just shifting the fasting windows around. No hassle. One day I don't eat till dinner, the other I feel hungry and i break my fast sooner.

Also, over the last 10 days, trend analysis of my weight indicates that I've lost 2.5 KG. That's an insanely high number and I expect this to stabilize soon. The goal is still to lose about 1/2 kg every week for the next 40 weeks. Next to that, I need to experiment to determine what methods I can incorporate in my lifestyle.

The good lie

For those whom don't know Viktor Frankl, the man is a poster child for the best that mankind can offer. The man found ways to remain optimistic about humanity even through WWII concentration camps.

One of his messages is very powerful: If you do not expect others to be better or expect yourself to be better than you generally are, you will never give yourself the chance to become so.
In short: reach for the sky, you might hit the moon.

This is something you also see in relationships. Both partners attempt to be the best possible person for the other and perpetuate a lie of being better people than they are. Together, you shape eachother more and more into the person you want to be.

Do note, however, that this must come from a genuine wish to be a better person, not just from simple causal reasoning: If I do this and this, I'll get that back. The focus should simply be being there. To quote the deceased but not forgotten John Scatman : "I want to be a human being, not a human doing."

So how do you want to see humanity?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Because the Ukelele rocks

Sure, you might not like the Ukelele, but these guys have a great show, they keep the atmosphere intimate and don't need huge levels of volume to get their music across.

Without further ado: The ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain

Intermittent fasting

Next to the low-carb diet that I've been trying, I've also dipped back into something I did earlier: Intermittent fasting.

It's one of those dietary things where the name really covers it all. You simply do not consume calories for 2-3 24 hour periods per week, or you choose a specific interval where you do and do not eat. In my case, I try to fast about 20 hours daily, and then eat a good healthy meal (and maybe some nice snacks afterwards) in the remaining 4 hours.

This comes very naturaly to me, as I love sleeping longer (thus not eating breakfast), find lunch something you either do well or shouldn't do and on some days tended to forget to eat. My eating rhythm isn't very stable so changes are easier to make.

There are people who state that they need to eat something every few hours, or else they'll feel weak and start to faint. I always wondered how such a trait could exist in healthy humans, but on the other hand, the fact that I don't need to eat might mean that I'm the unhealthy and/or strange one.

Still, this dietary change (it's not really a diet, as I can still eat anything I want, I just have to time when I eat it)

So why do all this? Well, there's some reasons why I like this form of eating:

1. There is a strong commitment not to eat during fasting hours. That means that you become virtually immune to the tempation of food during these hours.

2. After fasting, I build a strong appetite. My sense of smell becomes better and I become motivated to cook a nice and good meal, which I feel I appreciate more. I actually live up to the point of the day where I get to cook and eat.

3. I've learned what hunger is. It's not that bad a feeling (In fact, after 2-3 days of fasting it goes away, but that's not part of an Intermittent fasting regimen) It feels nice to be able to control and deal with my hunger instead of being a slave to it.

4. I feel more awake and acute when I'm fasting. You probably heard of the term "Staying hungry". It keeps you on your toes.

5. There might be positive health effects coupled to this style of eating, claiming that long enough fasting intervals have some of the or the same effect as caloric restriction

6. You can't eat as much in a 4-hour interval as you generally do in a whole days. Especially when you try to eat "clean foods". Essentially, this means you'll lose weight.

7. I don't -need- to do this every day. When I actually get hungry earlier, I eat. I've learned to distinguish real hunger (my body needing something) from other types of hunger. So there's no huge loss in breaking a fast earlier every now and then. Take all things in moderation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tim minchin & the paranormal

Living in an age of relativism, everyone is allowed to have an opinion that reflects their own perception of reality.

Even if they don't say so, humans are just things that give meaning to other things. The whole concept of living and having a relationship (from making love to a woman to taking a bite from an apple or sticking a cat in a box) to the world around us means that we project our reality and explanation of it upon it.

As I said, everyone is allowed an opinion. But that doesn't mean that I can't find some opinions stupid. Especially if you try to push its validity upon me.

So without further ado, I give you a nice beat poem by Tim Minchin, who brings this with such wit and eloquence that I can only hope to achieve some of his verbal mastery