Something, something, perfect enemy of the good.
I'm Arthur. This is my website. In early 2020, I threw together a basic structure using GitHub Pages (because tech geek) to get something off the ground quickly. And, with gratitude to Jim Robertus, in late 2021, I finally did a first-pass / naive adaptation of his LCARS template to my website.
I have about a million and one things I'm passionate about that I want to get out of my brain and onto proverbial paper.
Some of it is about me personally and my own history, experiences, and growth. Some of it is observations about the world, social and interpersonal dynamics, philosophy, psychology, and other not-about-me-directly things like TV, product design, and project management. Some content is in style of date-specific blog posts, and some content is captured in "timeless", "living" posts...I haven't written any of the latter yet, but I have created a ton of stubs to give an indication of what I want to write about (and there are a ton more I haven't created stubs for yet, too).
Frankly, a huge motive for me here is to create what amounts to an "Arthur wiki" or "Arthur user's guide". Whether you want to get to know me or you're just interested in my thoughts... Buckle up.
On This Page
- Recently Added Content
- Elevator Pitch
- Interests, Values, and Passions
- Random Tidbits
- Valuable Resources
Recently Added Content
Stubs written or modified in the last 21 days.
Whoops! Nothing to show here for now!
Here's a quick update about what's going on with me right now, current as of 2023-12-01. You can also read through my status history.
- Had a really nice time at Thanksgiving at my parents' in LA. Chase met them for the first time, and everybody seemed to get along well.
- While in LA, Chase and I had breakfast with the oldest of my younger sisters, Jacqueline, from whom I'd been estranged for almost two decades. While it was a bit odd to feel guarded and to be avoiding many elephants in the room, it was pleasant, and it was a good step in the direction of healing our relationship. I'm cautiously optimistic.
- I finished my cut, though with mixed results.
- Chase continues to enjoy The Next Generation, even though it's season 1, and it hasn't even hit its stride yet!
- Overall, my health continues to be on an upward trajectory.
- I'm continuing to make progress on my parenthood journey.
- My plants are doing well overall.
- I came home from Thanksgiving feeling a bit under the weather. I had a bad headache for several days and a tickle in my throat. (Thankfully, it passed by the middle of the next week.)
- It got too cold in my house while I was gone (my Nest Thermostat is busted), and that wasn't great for my plants.
- The fungus gnat situation with my plants is totally out of control and getting really irritating.
- Max has had some behavioral issues.
- I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed with everything I need to finish by the end of the year.
- Even though my caloric intake on the bulk I started has ramped up to just under my maintenance range, I've been gaining a lot of weight back. It's not terrible, but it's frustrating, since it's not accompanied by any strength gains or much reduction in fatigue or hunger.
- My 96-year-old grandfather fell and broke his leg in the last week (requiring surgery), and given his declining health, that's worrisome.
- It took 5 hours of my effort for AT&T to port an existing line in from another carrier into my account, despite all the proper unlocking etc on the other carrier's side in advance.
- Despite numerous attempts to clean it with various enzymatic agents and methods, my entryway still smells like a urinal because of Murrby's desire to pee on the floor there.
- I'm super frustrated with numerous issues with a lot of technology in my life:
- Google Nest Hub / Google Assistant, and their inability to control the correct lights
- Pixel Watch
- Pixel Buds Pro
- Nest Thermostat
- Google Headlines in Discover (always showing me "news" about murder, war, death, rape, violence, etc, as well as sports for some reason)
- Fi Collar
- Intuit Mint
- just random bugs across tons of apps and websites
I'm a logic-emotions monist, open (almost to a fault), wholehearted, wild, untamed, and disciplined in mind and action. (I wrote a decent stub on Family Arguing that proposes a causality for how I came to be this way.)
I tend to be a generalist and selective specialist, but a huge nerd through and through. I'm a die-hard advocate of induction as the primary mode of human cognition. My superpowers include seeing patterns and untangling nuanced differences. I'm especially good at seeing underlying principles, whether in human behavior or API design, as well as finding general, future-proof solutions to seemingly disparate problems. If you're interested, check out my Personality and Behavioral Profiles.
To me, integrity means integrating mind, body, and spirit. It means continuously learning rational (ie, practical) principles, and walking the walk and talking the talk. I embrace consistency and reject compartmentalization. I'm a geek about intellectual pursuits, I'm maniacal about physical fitness (in health, bodybuilding, and diet), and I'm always learning and growing in the areas of mindfulness and empathy (thank you, meditation).
I'm opinionated and curious, willful and flexible, arrogant and aware of my limitations, direct and sensitive/tactful (or, well, I try!). I always have to be right, not necessarily appear right or merely "win" arguments. I worship at the altar of the supreme sanctity of the truth; discovering that I was wrong is a gift that allows me to learn the truth and actually be right. I'm utterly intransigent about certain things (especially more fundamental matters of principle), but really easygoing about a lot of more superficial things. This seems to create a lot of confusion for people, and most people erroneously conclude that I'm just uptight and inflexible. I'm okay with being not understood, but I really struggle with (and get defensive about) being misunderstood.
I love logging things in the spirit of Quantified Self, though it's not an especially social phenomenon for me. Part of my love of it is in bringing order to the chaos of life through data normalization.
What is "The Truth about the Dishwasher"? You'll have to wait until I write about it...
While I buck a lot of social conventions and many of the superficial manifestations of my traits are baffling to a lot of people (believe me, I will write plenty on this), if you really get me, if you really see and understand the core of my being, I am super predictable.
I love children, and I can't wait to be a dad. Meanwhile, doggo Max is my trusty companion.
I grew up in Los Angeles, I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly 10 years, I was in Denver "temporarily" for about a year to figure out whether I want to live in Colorado permanently, and I've been living in Bailey, Colorado since the end of August 2021.
Oh, and I'm the product manager for Speedtest Powered at Ookla, where I build technical products for technical customers.
Interests, Values, and Passions
- bodybuilding and physical fitness
- meditation, mindfulness, wholeheartedness, vulnerability, and empathy
- tech geekery
- philosophy (especially ethics and epistemology, especially Objectivism)
- parenting theory (cannot wait to put this into practice)
- snowboarding (IKON Base Pass and Epic Local Pass for 2023-2024)
- Krav Maga (may pick this up at Colorado Krav Maga, but previously at Krav Maga San Francisco)
- Star Trek
- piano (current obsession: BWV 999 (JS Bach Prelude in c minor))
- cooking (haven't done anything creative in a while, though)
- good UX (yes, on websites and apps, but really, in the world generally!)
- management theory
- learning Hebrew (kind of fell off the wagon on that, honestly)
- soccer (AYSO)
- tennis (throughout childhood and Palisades High School Boys Tennis 1999-2000)
- swimming (Santa Monica College Men's Swimming & Diving 2001-2002)
- rowing (UCLA Men's Rowing 2003-2005)
- triathlon (UCLA Triathlon Team 2005-2007)
- touch rugby (Stanford Touch Rugby 2011-2013)
- ultimate frisbee (Big Gay Frisbee - SF 2013-2016)
- I'm a homebody. The chances of my initiating going out to eat, to a bar, or to a club are extremely slim. Dark, loud, and/or crowded? No, thanks. My perfect Friday or Saturday night involves going to bed early. But I love daytime activities, especially outdoors, and I respond well to invitations to participate in them!
- I'm a creature of habit; I love my routines and comforts.
- I hate wearing clothes. Specifically, I love being shirtless. It's a manifestation of my extreme vanity. (More on that controversial topic later!)
- I think glasses are incredible sexy/adorkable. I desperately wanted glasses when I was a kid, and I never understood any of the cultural norms around their being undesirable (like "four eyes, four eyes" taunting). I thought they were super cool, and even if I didn't need vision correction, they felt like a mark of being intellectual. There's more to say about all this, but now I wear glasses that offer mild vision correction, but I'd wear them regardless, just because I like the way I look in them.
- If I'm not actually barefoot, just nipping out on a quick errand in flipflops, or wearing snow/snowboarding boots, I wear Vibrams. I've been wearing them since 2011 for everything including work, gym, running, hiking/backpacking, and even formal events demanding a suit... I clearly don't wear them for the "fashion"; I find them comfortable, I think they're good for me physiologically, and I'm so allergic to wearing foot coffins (or dressing in general) just to accommodate others' expectations.
- I've been eating strict Paleo (with various modifications and refinements) since 2009. No cheating.
- I'm a compulsive nail-biter and "investigator" of my dermatological phenomena, which is apparently called "dermatillomania" or "excoriation disorder". (These are things I struggle with a lot.)
- I'm a horrible procrastinator. I often struggle to muster up the will to invest effort into tasks that would take 5-15 minutes to complete, so instead, they hang over my head for weeks or months, creating a ton of background stress. I find myself wondering whether this is a function of being extremely susceptible to cognitive inertia and the flip side of why being in a state of flow is such a powerful, productive experience for me. I think this is also related to why it's so important for me to set up daily/weekly routines, especially to handle administrative "adulting" tasks.
- I'm extremely risk-averse, definitely to a fault and in a very anxiety-provoking way. This is a disposition I really need to keep in check.
- I'm extremely conflict-averse, which people often find surprising, and which sometimes manifests as being too accommodating and encouraging being taken advantage of. But on matters of principle, I absolutely do not shy away from defending my values.
- I'm not as extroverted as I might seem. Indeed, I think I'm actually a severe introvert who just manifests extroverted behaviors because I find ideas energizing, but I find people (the vehicle for exchanging, discussing, and engaging in ideas) utterly exhausting.
- Growing up, I felt like I could often relate to adults better than my age-wise peers. I felt very comfortable socializing with them (though, in retrospect, I'm sure the feeling wasn't symmetric).
- I was obsessed with long hair as a kid and had a sort of pony tail (it was more of a poof) at various stages in my life up to about 16 years old. (Before I cut it off for good, when the hair was wet, it would go down to the middle of my back.)
- As a kid, I hated getting dirty. I didn't like playing in puddles or mud. I loved bathing. It's probably related to my attitudes about hygiene and cleanliness today, including perhaps my tactile aversion to stickiness and dust/chalk, my dislike of slimy foods, and paranoia about STDs. I literally and figuratively colored inside the lines (and still do).
- I'm extremely materialistic in that I attach high sentimental value to things most people would regard as unimportant--so I can't throw anything away. I think this is because "things" help to ground me in physical reality and provide an anchor for my memory, which feels fragile and fallible. I love my memorabilia; almost everything "sparks joy" (shove it, Marie Kondo!). But with the exception of groceries and occasional tech splurges, I'm pretty darned frugal by nature. (Also, already having way too many things helps create an incentive against acquiring even more things!)
- I love the beach and the ocean, and while I don't pursue them often enough, I enjoy all manners of water sports and being on various water crafts.
- I enjoy camping and hiking (after all, I'm an Eagle Scout), but I rarely initiate it, instead enthusiastically participating when others organize trips. (I wonder why that is...and how much of it might be more that I just like to think that I'm the kind of person who likes camping, considering how much I actually really like to stay clean and love my routines and creature comforts.)
- I hate traveling by plane, but I love the phenomenon of flying. I love window seats so that I can be filled with amazement at how we're in a metal can hurtling through the sky at incredible speeds and marvel at what human ingenuity can achieve. But the whole end-to-end process of commercial flying is super stressful, from booking air travel, to packing lightly enough, to getting to airports on time, to TSA security theatre, to numerous travel modality switching (car, walking, flying, walking, car), to sitting in claustrophobia-inducing uncomfortable seats that are not suited for someone who is 6'2". It means that if it's within an hour or two difference (eg, SF to LA), I'd much rather drive, even though driving is also super stressful for me (especially because of paranoia of getting speeding citations).
- I've never gone on vacation by myself. (I only first started snowboarding by myself in the 2020-2021 season, once day trips became practical for me.) If I take vacation time on my own, I'd much rather be frugal and stay at home, relaxing.
- Despite enjoying cooking (especially with others), I am not culinarily adventurous. Aside from the influence of my risk aversion and dislike of slimy things / weird textures, I have a lot of psychological hangups about certain food categories (eg, all seafood, the smell and idea of which I have strongly associated with rotting marine life in tide pools). I don't like exploring new foods, and I'm very happy to just eat the same boring thing, day in and day out. (This makes designing and adherence to meal plans for my fitness goals really easy!) See also my post on Paleo.
- I love spicy foods, and I joke that I have burned off all the capsaicin receptors in my mouth already.
- Listening to music is a very active process for me (meaning humming or singing along), so it's really hard for me to ever have it on in the background. It also means I don't much care for intentional music discovery (like Pandora). Invite me to the symphony, opera, or ballet if you're prepared to be hitting me every 5 seconds to stop me from signing along.
- I've never been to a music performance that didn't involve sitting in seats, but I do like quite a bit of contemporary music.
- I don't dance. Well, that's not true: I'm very comfortable learning dancing styles that have predefined moves that I might recombine on the fly to music (eg, swing, salsa, tango), and I've taken a few classes here and there. I tend to pick that up pretty well, but I'm not especially skilled. What I don't do is the random move-your-body-to-the-beat kind of dancing that's typical at clubs, weddings, etc. It's not that I'm inhibited in that regard; it's just not me. I feel stupid doing it, even though I don't think anybody else looks stupid doing it, and I know I don't look stupid to anybody else. I wouldn't do it in private, either...that also feels really uncomfortable. I used to be embarrassed about that and wished I could fit in, but nowadays, I'm way more comfortable just not participating, despite everybody else's attempts to talk me into dancing (which I think amounts to an unintentional attempt to shame me into it). Nope. Not me. Thanks!
- I'm a really fast runner, faster than anybody I've met in person (to the extent I've tested that). I'm also a sprinter, not an endurance runner (even though I have no problem snowboarding continuously for over 7 hours, resting only while riding the chairlift). I bet it's related to my being able to jump really high, too.
- I have a fear of falling from heights. Falling in general is no problem. No problem with chairlifts without the safety bar or flying in planes. But if I feel insecure or that there's a significant risk of falling from a height, it definitely triggers a panic response. I've had recurring nightmares as a kid about falling from cliffs. My heartrate increases dramatically when watching those videos of people prancing around on construction beams.
- In the 2004-2005 ski season, while driving up to Big Bear from LA at night, I was driving too fast and missed a curve in the mountain road. Had it not been for a turnout coincidentally being there, I would have driven off the side of the cliff to my death.
- In 2014, I broke my right 4th metacarpal playing ultimate frisbee...I jumped to block the opposing team from catching the disc, and it hit the back of my hand in exactly the wrong way. I now have two screws in my right hand.
- According to my dad, I was born left-handed, and my parents (re)trained me to be right-handed. I don't remember there being anything tumultuous about it; it's not like they "beat" it out of me. It was a totally no-big-deal thing, like "Oh, you're supposed to do this with your right hand.". I joke that their suppression of my left-handedness caused me to "act out" in other ways, like being gay. But in all seriousness, I wonder whether that explains some of my better-than-average ambidexterity. Or further, whether it's related to better left-right brain cooperation that could be the physical manifestation of my emotions-logic monism.
- I scrupulously avoid reading any news except tech news. I'm blissfully and self-righteously ignorant of current events. I find that most news disproportionately reports on the sensationalistic negative stuff going on around the world, perhaps catering to a sort of schadenfreude. Aside from finding that distasteful on philosophical grounds, I think it misrepresents the proportion of bad and good in the world and skews our perception of how good life is. There is so much good and wonderfulness in the world; I'd rather focus on that. And I'd much rather risk having a disproportionately positive view of the world than negative. Moreover, I have close to 0% control over nearly 100% of the negative stuff reported in "the news", and there's very little I can do differently on the basis of "being informed"; so what's the point? Yes, sure, I can fight for cultural change in the long term, but being informed of broad trends and certain major current events is inescapable, no matter how well I avoid explicitly pursuing "the news"; I don't need to be inundated with negativity to have a motive to live a good life and work to improve the world (if anything, that negativity would sap my energy to do so).
- I'm also fairly ignorant of history (which is actually a shame). If anything, I tend to know more about historical trends and periods than the "who's who" of history.
- I know very little about pop culture or spectator sports, neither of which I have much patience for. The most I might know is a little about actors in my favorite shows/movies and sports I've actually played.
- As a kid, I was obsessed with magic. I don't honestly know how much I really believed it was real, but I desperately wanted it to be real and to have magical powers. (No surprise, then, how obsessed I became with Star Trek's Q, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Aladdin's Jafar, among others.) When I was much younger, the only thing I ever asked for for Christmas was a magic wand. Every blowing-out-the-birthday-candles wish was also for a magic wand...which, in later years, turned into "infinite control over time, space, and matter". I continue to have a very active imagination around exercising potential magical powers, including plenty of rumination/daydreaming about a related topic, what I would do with my one superpower, if I could choose only one. And all this is certainly related to the kinds of TV shows I tend to like.
- My favorite movie is The Time Traveler's Wife.
- 1 out of 10 Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes makes me cry. My favorites are Who Watches the Watchers and The Offspring. I'll let you make your own inferences about how much I cry during other TV shows and movies.
- My favorite fiction book is Atlas Shrugged. The His Dark Materials trilogy is a close second because fuck authority.
- I have a lot of favorites. I like things how I like them. It's probably a manifestation of how much I care about things in general.
- I ran a philosophy club at UCLA called LOGIC for about 7 years between 2004 and 2011. I took it extremely seriously and organized it as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We put on some very high-profile and well-attended events.
- Some of my closest friends are from middle school.
- The most consistent and frequent trigger of my anger is bad UX on mobile apps and websites and poor/inefficient customer service.
- Swords and knives violently cutting flesh in TV and movies? No problem. Needles and scalpels? Slow torture involving mutilation? I often can't look, and when I do, I'm at extreme risk of passing out. Getting my blood drawn can easily trigger a vasovagal response, but I have no problem making myself bleed using sharp tweezers on my own skin to "address" dermatological phenomena.
- I dropped out of high school. (Okay...I say that for dramatic effect. I tested out after 10th grade because I ran out of AP math and science classes...kind of.)
- Technically, Russian is my first language, and my parents forced me to go to Russian School on Saturdays for 11 years (maybe here?)...unsurprisingly, with my willful personality, I didn't get much out of it. I took French in high school and college. I took one quarter of Italian at UCLA.
- I studied piano pretty seriously between the ages of 7 and 18 (now I just dabble), I played flute in grades 6 and 7, and I was in choir in grades 7 through 10.
- I'm an Eagle Scout.
- I graduated from law school and even passed the CA Bar Exam.
- Brené Brown "speed round" / "rapid fire" from Unlocking Us:
- Vulnerability is
honesty to yourself.
- You're called to do something brave, but your fear is real. What's the very first thing you do?
- Something that people often get wrong about you is
that I like arguing, just because I'm willing to defend my beliefs.
- Last show that you watched, binged, and loved:
as of April 2020, The Magicians
- Favorite movie:
The Time Traveler's Wife
- A concert that you'll never forget:
While at university, I got access to discounted student tickets to the LA Opera to see Mozart's The Magic Flute. We got seats 4 rows from the stage, and my friends had to keep hitting me to stop singing along, since I had been listening to all the songs on repeat for a week leading up to it.
- Favorite meal:
ribeye steak, with a side of french fries cooked in beef tallow, a gigantic salad, and a glass of Malbec
- What's on your nightstand right now?
on 2020-04-26: Phillip Pullman's Once Upon a Time in the North, my mala beads, my (non-military) dogtags, a few Pixel phones, an empty glass (for water), and a some folded clothes
- A snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you joy:
snuggling with Billy
- What are you deeply grateful for right now?
my friends who truly see and understand me
- Vulnerability is
- If I were Maeve from Westworld, able to modify my "Attribute Matrix" on a tablet, here's what I would select (on a scale of 0-20):
- bulk apperception: 20
- candor: 20
- vivacity: 20
- coordination: 20
- meekness: 0
- humility: 0
- cruelty: 0
- self-preservation: 20
- patience: 10
Not really sure about this one... In some manifestations, impatience is a really good thing, insofar as it prompts doing something about an unacceptable situation, reflecting intense value commitments. In other manifestations, patience amounts to resilience and skill in being able to deal with a situation more coolly, calmly, rationally, and soberly.
- decisiveness: 20
- imagination: 20
- curiosity: 20
- aggression: 20
- loyalty: 20
This is provisional, since it depends on what you mean by "loyalty": loyalty to facts? loyalty to a person? being truly supportive by being willing to challenge a person and act in accordance with their long-term interests, even if unpleasant or uncomfortable in the immediate term? superficial agreement with / enablement of anything they say or do?
- empathy: 20
- tenacity: 20
- courage: 20
- sensuality: 20
- charm: 20
- humor: 20
These are ideas and approaches to various areas of life that I have derived great value from...with some indication of my own viewpoints sprinkled in.
- Renaissance Periodization
- Carolyn Hart Manual Therapy (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
- Jeffrey Lem Optometry (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
- Washington Square Park Dental (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
Psychological and Emotional Well-Being
- Mařenka Cerny Somatic Psychotherapy (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
- Brené Brown: website, Audible, Kindle
Her work covers many interconnected topics, including connection, compassion and empathy, vulnerability, courage, shame, perfectionism, belonging (versus "fitting in"), worthiness, authenticity ("being the wilderness"), and mind-emotion integration.
Take a peek at the resources below that are available for free (such as on YouTube) or take a look at "Which Book Do I Read First?".
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Audible, Kindle
- Daring Greatly: Audible, Kindle
- Rising Strong: Audible, Kindle
- Braving the Wilderness: Audible, Kindle
- I Thought It was Just Me (but it isn't): Audible, Kindle
- Dare to Lead: Audible, Kindle
- Listening to shame (talk): YouTube: TED
- The Power of Vulnerability (talk): Audible, YouTube: TED
- The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting (talk): Audible
- Men, Women and Worthiness (talk): Audible
- Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice (talk): Audible
- The Call to Courage (talk): Netflix
- Brené Brown on Empathy (short): YouTube: The RSA
- Brené Brown on Blame (short): YouTube: The RSA
- Unlocking Us (podcast): Website, Spotify
- Attachment Theory
- Sue Johnson: Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love: Audible, Kindle
- Gary Chapman: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts: Kindle
- Harriet Lerner: Why Won't You Apologize?: Audible, Kindle
- Lundy Bancroft: The Joyous Recovery: Kindle
- Marc Brackett: Permission To Feel: Audible, Kindle, website
- Bessel Van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score: Audible, Kindle
- Deb Dana: The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Audible, Kindle
- Marshall Rosenberg: Nonviolent Communication: Audible, Kindle eTextbook
- Susan Campbell: Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life: Kindle
- revelatori (Tori Press)
- Carl Dweck: Mindset: Audible, Kindle
- James Clear: Atomic Habits: Audible, Kindle
- Authentic Relating and Circling
Parenting and Education
A parent's job is to be a guide in a child's development into an adult. A parent is a model, not an authority figure. A child must learn, not obey. A parent should not try to tame their child or desire obedience, but to help the child cultivate the skills of agency, self-determination, self-regulation, independent judgment, internal motivation, and efficacy. "Punishment", ranging from grounding to stonewalling to physical striking, are not effective tools; they teach a child that these are normal modes of interaction between human beings and handicap their future adult relationships. Punishment and "consequences" create power struggles and undermine the possibility of finding win-win solutions. While I wouldn't say it's always wrong to characterize a child as "misbehaving", the more useful framing is to understand that the child is attempting to achieve a value, perhaps ineffectively, and that it's the parent's job to help the child learn more effective ways of achieving values. Regardless, approaching a child with anger or phrases such as "You're bad." and "You're being bad." (which a child is likely to internalize as a matter of basic identity) are disastrous.
- Positive Discipline
- Brené Brown: The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting
- Carl Dweck: Mindset: Audible, Kindle
This is, hands-down, the most important innovation in math education in history, and I don't say that lightly. Grant Sanderson's approach to grounding math in graphical intuition and connecting it to reality has the ability to inspire curiosity and passion and prevent kids from checking out of math because of how it's so often taught as merely abstract symbol manipulation.
- Manager Tools
- Kim Scott: Radical Candor: Audible, Kindle
- Carl Dweck: Mindset: Audible, Kindle
- Peter Drucker: The Effective Executive: Audible, Kindle
"Why does philosophy matter?"— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) August 5, 2015
"I don't know, why does science matter?"
"Well because scie-"
"Annnnnnnd you are doing philosophy."
Your subconscious is like a computer--more complex a computer than men can build--and its main function is the integration of your ideas. Who programs it? Your conscious mind. If you default, if you don't reach any firm convictions, your subconscious is programmed by chance--and you deliver yourself into the power of ideas you do not know you have accepted. But one way or the other, your computer gives you print-outs, daily and hourly, in the form of emotions--which are lightning-like estimates of the things around you, calculated according to your values. If you programmed your computer by conscious thinking, you know the nature of your values and emotions. If you didn't, you don't.
Okay, so I feel like I need to offer a fair bit of clarification on this, since I think terms like "selfishness" and "capitalism" can be readily polarizing and misunderstood, given widespread (mis)use in our culture. I'll do more of that clarification in a post at some point. For now, here's a summary of my viewpoints, which I credit to Objectivism and Ayn Rand.
- metaphysics: absolute reality
Facts are what they are. Our mere fact of believing or wishing does not change them.
- epistemology: knowledge through induction
Concepts are inductive generalizations of observations of concrete entities given in perception, as well as of other concepts. Bona fide knowledge and certainty is always contextual; new discoveries and understanding does not inherently overturn previous knowledge, but in a proper progression, builds on and expands it.
- ethics: egoism
The moral purpose of my life is my own happiness, prosperity, and joy, not the mere satisfaction of momentary hedonistic whims or pleasures. Sterilely, the purpose of my relationships with other people is to serve my own well-being, but I experience others as a tremendous potential or actual value to my life, and therefore, emotionally, as ends in themselves. I seek out win-win relationships. I believe people's true interests are harmonious, so there are no win-lose relationships; anything purported to be a win-lose relationship is really a lose-lose relationship. I reject the glorification of sacrifice and suffering. More concretely, the egoistic virtues I embrace are rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, and pride.
- Tara Smith: Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist: Kindle
- politics: (laissez-faire) capitalism
The concept of "individual rights" identifies the factual requirements of human flourishing in a social context; the concept identifies the actions that are permissible and prohibited in a society if we want to create the conditions that enable prosperity. Negatively put, the initiation of physical force (including fraud) and its threat are prohibited. Positively put, people may act on their own independent judgment with respect to their own person and property, provided they do not interfere with others' ability to do the same. This amounts to freedom and what it means to live in a free society (we are not very close to that at present).
- aesthetics: romantic realism
The purpose of art is to provide spiritual fuel and to directly evoke emotions in a way that may bypass explicit conceptual awareness.
More to come on this... But for now, major hat tip to Melissa Cade, who painstakingly implemented and iterated on the design with me!
|wildness, freedom, instinctiveness, control, playfulness, curiosity, intelligence, nobility, loyalty, guardianship, sexual ferocity, aggressiveness, ritual
|integration of mind, body, and spirit; love of magic (via Charmed)
|triquetra heart modification
|Arthurian legend; power, magic, wisdom, strength, untamed nature, clarity of purpose, guarding material wealth
|(pursuit of) enlightenment, growth, perseverance over pain and difficulty
|love of Star Trek, optimism, technology
|Front Range crown
|love of the mountains and Colorado, firmness, stillness
|love of heat, energy, clarity, confidence, goodness, peace
|love of the ocean, change, flow, serenity and turbulence
|love of the snow and snowboarding, uniqueness
|love of Back to the Future, time travel, four-dimensional / abstract thinking
|The One Ring
|Earth point of origin
|love of Stargate, exploration
|crown symbol orientation
|geekiness and nerdom on wolf's right brain and nature on wolf's left brain, inverting the traditional left-right brain dichotomy to represent integration of intellect and emotion
|West Hollywood, CA
|Sister Jacqueline is born
|St Thomas the Apostle Preschool
|Parents legally changed my name from
Arthur Igor Zey
Arthur Igor Lechtholz-Zey
|Temple Israel Kindergarten
|Brother Andrew is born
|Brentwood Science Magnet
|Walter Reed Middle School
|Self-employed Tech Consulting
|Palisades High School
|Sister Elizabeth is born
|Santa Monica College
|Duckett-Wilson Development Company
Rieber 5 South
Math of Computation BSc
Hedrick 7 North
|Mar Vista, CA
|"Wyatt" (protecting his privacy)
|Parents get divorced
|UCLA School of Law
|Acquire step-family (Masha, Emily, Michael)
|Ayn Rand Institute
|Santa Monica, CA
|Legally changed my name from
Arthur Igor Lechtholz-Zey
|Mountain View, CA
|San Francisco, CA
|Daly City, CA
Alexa Core Services
|San Francisco, CA
Alexa Tech Docs
Alexa Voice Service Device SDK
|Bought my first home!
|Ookla: Speedtest Powered
|Welcomed Max into my life!
|Welcomed Murrby into my life</tbody> </table>