This week’s highlights:
Things I learned wandering around Europe for 7 months – Hey, I wandered around Europe for seven months as well! Other than the fact that I did it under the auspice of studying abroad and this guy quit his consultant job to do the same, we learned a lot of the same things. Some of the things that struck a chord from this piece:
- “There’s great power in solitude… completely separated from anybody you know for a very long period of time” He’s right, I firmly believe everyone should travel alone for at least a few weeks in order to come to terms with themselves, become self sufficient and confident, and experience new things. As Muse would say, you have to go “far away from the memories of the people who care if I live or die”.
- “The need to accept the things I cannot change” Like I wrote on Matador, travelling teaches you to suffer well.
- “The two most productive types of thoughts are: 1)Thoughts of gratitude and 2) Thoughts of how you want the future to unfold (dreaming)”
- He introduced me to this great quote: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.” Henry David Thoreau. How badass is that? I love the view that the laws of the world change when you challenge them.
Wikipedia article on Charlie Wilson – the Texan congressman who helped fund the Taliban. This guy sounded like a true character. Surrounded himself with beautiful women at all times, “fell in love with America” as a teenager after defeating his neighbor who had poisoned his dog in an election, and whose last words were “My last words to you my son and successor are: Never Trust the Russians.” Wow.
Remee sleeping mask – uses timed led pulses to encourage lucid dreaming. You need to know your sleep schedule down to the minute, though. Check out how you program the thing – you input your info into the app, then hold the mask up to your computer and it codes the mask through binary code!
The Richest and Poorest shows on television, measured by audience income – I’d love to see this same study done on music genres.
Chekhov’s gun – “a dramatic principle requiring that every element in a narrative be necessary and irreplaceable, and that everything else be removed. Stated by Anton Chekhov, “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.” Interesting idea, but I am not sure if I agree.
You should date an illiterate girl by Charles Warnke. Beautifully written ironic piece that’s more about the love reading that the love of women. However, I’d like to disagree with his conclusive sentiment of dating reader girls and say that all your friends should be readers. Why limit it to just your lovers?
Shannon Larsen’s answer to “As a young woman, how can I shake the feeling that being good-looking is the primary thing that males will acknowledge and praise my existence for?” – You can expect a future blog post going into this further. I’ve struggled with exactly this more than once – when at parties, it’s easy to neglect the mediocre looking women in favor of the knockouts, but this leads to a poisoned society. Shannon lays it out clearly here “fuckability determines a woman’s worth”. Check out her advice toward the solution – stop consuming mainstream culture, make female friends who do more than talk about boys, work on your skills not your appearance.
Woman dressed up and dated as a man for 18 months – Some great female insights on the male condition here. Great snippets here:
- “For these women, men as a subspecies – not the particular men with whom they had been involved – were to blame for the wreck of a relationship and the psychic damage it had done them. It’s hardly surprising, then, that in this atmosphere, as a single man dating women, I often felt attacked, judged, on the defensive.”
- “On dates with men I felt physically appraised in a way that I never did by women, and, while this made me more sympathetic to the suspicions women were bringing to their dates with Ned, it had the opposite effect, too. Somehow men’s seeming imposition of a superficial standard of beauty felt less intrusive, less harsh, than the character appraisals of women.”
- “Dating women as a man was a lesson in female power, and it made me, of all things, into a momentary misogynist, which I suppose was the best indicator that my experiment had worked. I saw my own sex from the other side, and I disliked women irrationally for a while because of it. I disliked their superiority, their accusatory smiles, their entitlement to choose or dash me with a fingertip, an execution so lazy, so effortless, it made the defeats and even the successes unbearably humiliating. Typical male power feels by comparison like a blunt instrument, its salvos and field strategies laughably remedial next to the damage a woman can do with a single cutting word: no.”
- “Sex is most powerful in the mind, and to men, in the mind, women have a lot of power, not only to arouse, but to give worth, self-worth, meaning, initiation, sustenance, everything. Seeing this more clearly through my experience, I began to wonder whether the most extreme men resort to violence with women because they think that’s all they have, their one pathetic advantage over all she seems to hold above them.”