Jun 19, 2017

Money does not solve all your problems

Yeah right. People without money hear that all the time. Don't touch my sportscar!
James Altucher got that straight by completing the phrase. "Money does not solve all your problems - but it solves your money-problems"
Which is a lot.
And a driving force behind his extremely successful blog, Altucher Confidential.

And he is part of the the '10 easy steps to...', '10 things to take when you go to Mars' - advice columns that infest the net. I once wrote so - mildly critical - spotting the now legendary (and then half-legendary) guy close to this bunch of click-baiters (here). He was personally offended and posted quite a nice reply - he saw himself as actually helping people (what he did). Got close to Yoga (through personal experience). And his writing was really fast and great.
It just sometimes smelled like there was a business-idea somewhere in the machine-room. And indeed, we now get these never-ending videos where you are strung along ('wait, I will tell you my biggest secret at the end...' - I never waited. And I am still working for money).
James Altucher is entertaining. A quick mind. And I am sure he would not comment the same way he did in those old days. No allergic reactions to '10 easy steps to...' - except that The World at large has reacted:
Now '9 (NINE) steps to...'-lists have become fashionable.
Yay!
(I am not sure they have understood my point)

Mar 7, 2017

Against Empathy

It is magic.
Every day at 1 pm straight Smart-S gets hit by a little click-storm. Nothing dangerous - far from a DOS attack. It actually warms my heart to know that somebody has made some code crawl this little-known dusty corner of the net to see what has been deposited there. Some empathetic robot silently weeping when things get rough in the world of the smart-ss's (does it ever?) and chuckling about the shallow jokes (are there any?). Cute.
After observing this for a few months, though, I start to wonder whether that little lump of bytes couldn't be extended a bit so it is able to leave some, umm, comments? Maybe? Hello?!
Some feedback (supportive, controversial or otherwise) would be nice for once!
What good is a silent empathetic reader, ultimately - be it a machine or humanoid?
It is like that ever-loving mother who listens to the crap you do in your childhood, the annoying stuff you call freedom while growing up, your self-pity when you fail just another relationship and run away from the n-th marriage. She stays empathetic, keeps nodding, back-patting even when your self-love explodes to become narcissism, when you sacrifice everything and everyone just to make yourself shine... empathy, 'support', hugs - an eternal flow of destructive 'yes'es. Empathy, the goodhearted, naive little sister of the hideous teenager called pity.
When I was wondering what silent empathy is good for I came across a review of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom (here)
He goes beyond the pure semantics: While Empathy can lead to mind-blurring commiserations which essentially amplify and stabilize problems rather than attacking them, compassion wakes up the rage, it fires up dissent and outrage and strives to get up and actually change things. Empathy is for the self-pitying willing to sink ever deeper, Compassion is less cozy, more engaging and it has the potential to change the world.
So, come on, you little badly-programmed web-crawlers can you please move on?! Get your tear-stained sappy code out of here and leave this site alone.
Thanx.

Jan 28, 2017

He tore out the heart

What made America greater than this:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

„Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!“ cries she
With silent lips. „Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Emma Lazarus, 1883 
Statue of Liberty

Jan 2, 2017

Dead, right?

Sometimes you are alive. Sometimes you are dead.
Well, you feel like it.
Which is strange. Because, I suppose, when you are dead - how does it feel? Deadish? I thought the whole concept of being dead is that all that conscious stuff - and very much so the 'feeling'-thingy - vanishes.
Exactly what you sometimes yearn for.
When you are too destroyed to get up, for example. New-Years' morning, when you feel like you are dead. Well.
We talked about it.
So.
My blog was dead.
When I had to renew my payment-details I got trapped in some super-smart login loop, that always told me to renew my payment-details before I could log-in to go to... you got the idea.
Now I got some reanimation done and there we go again.
Life looks much better now.
Even though some things look very non-ok.
But let's not talk politics.
Or emotional, private stuff.
thanx.