What would you like to see?

Post image for What would you like to see?

Dear Reader,

By the time you read this I should be somewhere in Colorado, taking photos and helping Mr. Money Mustache build things.

I had just gotten back from a bucket-list-related trip to Minneapolis, and hit the road again three days later. When I get back from Colorado I’ll begin stockpiling tea and used books, settling in to brace for the harsh Canadian winter, given that my next trip is a whole six months away. So for the first time in my life I’ll have ample time to write, which allows me to tackle topics that I had never had the space to address thoroughly.

There are a lot of directions to take, and so to reduce option-paralysis it would help if you’d tell me what topics you’re most interested in reading about. It could be something I’ve written about before, or something new. Different readers can be interested in totally different things, from Buddhism to capitalism to antidisestablishmentarianism, and I want to know what -isms, -alities and -nesses I’m neglecting in the eyes of the general audience. If I wrote, say, a 3000-word piece on floccinaucinihilipilification, and most of you have been dying for me to comment on the process involved in overcoming asseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullarial issues, then that is a missed opportunity for all of us. Or perhaps many of you suffer from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia and I’ve been inadvertently terrorizing you with my choices. Such perfidiousness on my part! So the more responses, the better for everyone.

So far there have been a lot of requests for more on procrastination, Douglas Harding, non-religious spirituality, lifestyle design and overcoming shyness, but I want to lengthen the list. That way I can queue up topics and keep going with another article as soon as I’m finished one.

Please tell me in the comments what you would like to see more of here. Even if you never comment, I would love to know what I’ve written about that you’ve especially liked, or what I haven’t written about that you wish I would. A one-liner is fine.

Thank you for your contributions, you make this place what it is.

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Photo by David Cain

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{ 206 Comments }

Mike Plotz November 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Write about a time your were wrong and what that felt like. Write about the last time your world turned upside down. Write about lost loves. Write a letter to yourself in an alternate universe where you made different choices. Write the response. Write about what interestingness and curiosity are. Write up your favorite recipe and post photos. Write a parable. Write a law. Write a hard-boiled detective story. Write an advice column. Write a manifesto. Write linkbait. Write a writing/basketweaving/juggling tutorial. Write a My Little Pony or Harry Potter fanfic.

I’ll just sit here refreshing my feed until it’s all done. :)

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Tracy B. November 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

While I’d love to see David tackle any or all of that list, I’d also like to see what the mind that created that list could come up with. :-) Do you write, Mike?

David, I loved the post about “I want only things, not stuff”, in fact I think it was how I stumbled on this blog. I’d enjoy more of your thoughts on that.

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Justin K November 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

you experience with MMM of course!

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Carlos November 4, 2013 at 4:50 am

I’m sure many of us look forward to that post!
Greetings from Spain David!

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Richard November 4, 2013 at 5:16 am

I’ll third this..

I’d like to know what exactly you’re building with Mr Money Mustache and photo’s of your adventure!

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Garrett November 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Write about letting go of anger and finding common ground.

Write about resisting the urge to do what’s in one’s own financial interest in order to live ethically (such as not investing in companies like Nike, Nestle, weapons manufacturers, Goldman Sachs, etc.), though that’s probably something MMM should address.

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John November 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I would like to read your reflections on how your views on the world (minimalism, Buddhism, frugality, etc) influence and effect your friendships, dating life and relationships.

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José Alejandro November 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm

What about nationalism? patriotism? does it have any importance for you?

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

This is an interesting topic, for the moment I will say, no, not really. I love Canada, but that love is really for the aspects of it that have nothing to do with the legal entity that is the nation of Canada. I love trees and open space, and humility, all of which are abundant in my homeland.

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Karl Keefer November 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

That’s a fantastic answer. Patriotism runs strong in the U.S. and I sometimes find it hard to explain my lack of “allegiance” without offending people.

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Karl Keefer November 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm

That’s a fantastic answer. Patriotism runs strong in the U.S. and I sometimes find it hard to explain my lack of “allegiance” without offending people.

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José Alejandro November 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

That’s great. People should feel that they are part of the same team wherever the are and no matter where they come from. And this two things, patriotism and nationalism, only separate people.

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Andrew Gentle November 4, 2013 at 12:07 am

I would love to hear more about your life philosophic, I recently read through your ebook and noticed a lot of stoic themes coming through – although the way you write makes it so much easier to relate to.

That said, seeing your posts every Monday (here in New Zealand) is one of the highlights of my week as is so keep doing whatever it is you’re doing!

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Jen November 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

Social justice in the real world

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Isaac Bantam November 4, 2013 at 12:59 am

I’m a young reader, and one of the things I catch myself trying to do, not just here but in other places as well, is to learn from mistakes so that I can somehow streamline my life. The thought process is something like “If I can learn the things future me would tell me now I can save myself a lot of trouble.” However, a lot of my opportunities for personal growth have been when I have myself some of that trouble. What kinds of lessons should you learn from others and which should you learn from yourself?

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Nadya November 4, 2013 at 1:22 am

Writing comments is intimidating for two reasons:
1) I worship you,
2) English is not my native language.

My favourite texts are “How to make hard things easy” and “5 steps to stop worrying what people think of you” (esp. the naked party part).

I’d like to see more about:

- how do your learn and educate yourself. Do you have a plan? How do you learn languages you mentioned in “the list”, what’s your method?

- how do you write?

- a guide to compassion for non-compassionate people.

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Andi November 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I second this – I loved “5 steps to stop worrying what people think of you” and I’d love to hear more about how you learn.

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Kim November 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

I would love to read ‘a guide to compassion for non-compassionate people’! And I would totally post that link to my non-compassionate facebook contacts.

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Matei Corvin November 4, 2013 at 1:40 am

Discipline.
Thank you.

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Well wisher from India November 4, 2013 at 1:59 am

Hello David,
Please continue writing so well. I am learning a lot, trying to improve myself a lot through your blog.

I would like to read:
How to win friends?
How to stop worrying and thinking too much?
How to let go?
How do you deal with changing priorities of people around you?
How to forget and stop caring for people who have stopped caring for you?
How to implement and action on your plans or goals?

Thank You.

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Carmen November 4, 2013 at 2:06 am

You share your craft… Weaving words, on looms of idealism, value, courage… Continue to cocoon David. The ideas are searching for you as well… You’ll need stillness to hear them.

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Marco November 4, 2013 at 2:40 am

Please discuss:
-Mentorship: Is it important, where to find it etc.
-Self worth: How to get it if you don’t have it

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Peter November 4, 2013 at 2:49 am

I’d like to read on problems, thoughts and solutions concerning financial independence, if possible.

Thanks for all the insights!

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Jane November 4, 2013 at 3:46 am

Being whole/complete. Does a perceived lack of ‘wholeness’ lead us to chase down external things we hope will fulfil the ‘missing’ parts? Is being whole attainable? Is the concept of being whole a misnomer – we are in fact whole but choose to believe otherwise?

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Clare November 4, 2013 at 3:53 am

Your quiet moments of revelation like the one where you decided not to shiver coming out of the shower.
Like others that have commented here, I also look forward to your posts. It cheers me up to think that there are others puzzling out how to live life more fully.

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Brian November 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

Long time reader and admirer of your blog. I’ve been really interested in how relationships/romantic love fits into your worldview. I can understand if you didn’t feel comfortable sharing that, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

This is something I’m interested in writing about but it does have to be done very carefully. I tend to write about life lessons using real-life examples, but I want to be sensitive to the real-life people involved. But I’m sure there are tactful ways to write about it.

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cgk November 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

Beauty; the influence appearance has on society, the influence society has on appearance, vanity, cultural variation, etc.

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Ilana November 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

Thank you for all the insights you have shared so far.

How do you wake yourself up from the tedium?
Do you have any hints for folks who are highly resistant to meditation? (I fall asleep a lot, and get frustrated the rest of the time.)
How do you deal with anger which comes from others? Have you ever been close to someone with anger issues?
Someone asked about your patriotism. Do you have any feelings of exasperation or shame for your nation or world?
What’s your opinion about time travel? Possible?

You’re changing lives. Thank you again!

Ilana

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Sameer November 4, 2013 at 4:00 am

I still have trouble understanding quite how to live in the present moment given that there will in fact be future moments I need to plan for and there are past moments worth learning from.

Also (unrelated aside from being another key topic found in Tolle and Eastern religion) the idea that we are all one trips me out (can’t grasp it; don’t find it plausible) and I’m not sure what to do with it. I find the thought experiments by the British philosopher you cite about a hole in your head (forgetting his name) highly unpersuasive.

Thanks!

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Kelly Hosford Patterson December 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm

If I can throw in my 2 cents about unity….. This is the consept that helped me understand it……. If you look at cells under a microscope they appear to be separate, yet when you step back you see it’s a leaf,and with each step back, it becomes, a tree, a forest, a planet, something greater than it’s perceived self. I don’t know who David quotes ” the hole in the head” but physisist Nassim Harramein refers to a hole in the heart as our connection to source energy…….. and David, that’s what I want to hear more about…who the hole in the head guy….or anything physics related. I think the 1st post I read, the one that sucked me in was about relativity.

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Glynis Jolly November 4, 2013 at 4:08 am

Here are a couple of suggestions for future posts:

I’ve been trying to make daily life simple, or at least simpler. What would be some of your ideas on this?

I love traveling but haven’t been able to do as much as I want. Could you discuss more about your adventures?

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Teresa November 4, 2013 at 4:13 am

Personally, I have always liked your “street-level” insight about the human condition and how you perceive thought and action to improve your experience. What do you think is the most pressing issue in terms of the future?

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Henry November 4, 2013 at 4:24 am

Romantic/sexual relationships. How you come across them, end up in them, the approach you take to them, your thoughts on monogamy/polyamory, dating, meeting partners, compatibility…

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María November 4, 2013 at 4:40 am

Yeap, I’d love to read your point of view about romance and sex too. I’m always amazed by the way you break big questions down into small pieces, easy to understand and get approached, so I’m sure you’d have many interesting ideas on these topics. Cannot wait to read more, David, all the best!

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Tiva Joy November 4, 2013 at 6:54 am

I would love to read about this also, although it can be a bit invasive of your personal life.
Plus, I would love to know more about these words…
asseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullarial
floccinaucinihilipilification
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
…That really made me laugh, seeing those words, wondering if you just made them up.

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M November 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Yes. I would love to read more about this topic as well.

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Kelli Bodle November 4, 2013 at 4:26 am

How can something inherently material, like visual art, benefit one’s spiritual life?

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Caroline Vidican November 4, 2013 at 4:26 am

Wrong, YOU make this place what it is…
Write about food, why we waste so much of it, what compels us to fill up our fridges and freezers when we already have ample.
And if you do write up your favourite recipe, come and guest post on my blog, please!

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DiscoveredJoys November 4, 2013 at 4:28 am

Why you should get up in the morning *if* there is no external purpose to life.

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Donna November 4, 2013 at 4:32 am

As a fifty something I am always amazed and delighted by the wisdom of your writing, young David :)

I would like (very selfishly) to hear more about catastrophic thinking, and also about how to go about making big decisions in such away that the waters close gently behind you, rather than leaving scenes of devastation.

I hope you really enjoy the next 6 months.

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Angelina Brighton January 7, 2014 at 7:30 am

Well said.

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Maia November 4, 2013 at 4:45 am

Hi David,

I’d like you to write about your spiritual outlook/ life philosophy. What you think is the meaning of life? About what attracts you to Buddhism, about the person/experience/ideas that influenced you the most, and why.

Thanks :-)

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Shane November 4, 2013 at 4:46 am

Big shout out from Oz, stumbled very randomly across your blog and love it. Maybe consider writing about how amazing uniqueness, individuality and diversity really is, and I emphasise amazing…

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Kate November 4, 2013 at 4:47 am

G’day David! I like your lifestyle design pieces. Your blog on things v stuff really made me think and I’ve forwarded it all around the world. I also like all the pieces on minimalism and spending less to gain more. Keep up the great work!

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Jo Dino November 4, 2013 at 5:01 am

Romantic love. Heartbreak & repair cycle

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Lisa November 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

Definetly this topic.
How hard is it to forget & get over it, and what we can do for being better…

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NickG November 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Especially the repair cycle. Back brakes are loose and the chain won’t shift onto that large cog.
I did love your Interview with the Man. Perhaps he’d say that romantic love means you should work hard to provide unnecessary stuff for a future family and that the best answer to heartbreak is to lose yourself in your work.

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Barb November 4, 2013 at 5:22 am

One of my favorite things to read is memoirs and in that vein, I’d love to read about the experiences of real people. You could write several books on interviewing people who are living with minimalism, or with self-employment, or just with great awareness. I like the way you write and I will happily line up to buy your books (or read blog posts!).

Obviously, we want to hear about your adventures with MMM too. ;)

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Stjopa November 4, 2013 at 5:22 am

Hey,
here are some ideas:
- creating a life plan, wanna-do’s vs wanna-not do’s
- getting ready to change and believe in your own abilities/power
- human biology vs modern life environment
- money vs sentimental values
- getting conscious about time (gaining free time, neglecting unnecessarties)

I am a big fan of your blog!
Stjopa

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Chris November 4, 2013 at 5:29 am

Write more about: limited beliefs and how to overcome them.

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Gunhild November 4, 2013 at 5:48 am

First of all, I just allways enjoy reading your writing, David.
Off the top of my head I would love to read more about:
Overcoming fear of becoming self-employed, financial independence, fear/courage when striking out on your own, how to not become overwhelmed with the possibilities and just choosing to do one thing at the time, why it’s worth the hassle to not just be an employee. How to deal with your own dreams changing (like, wanting to have your own house with a garden or dreaming about travelling the world, or wishing for minimalism though your partner just wants the typical suburban house with all kinds of stuff in it) – how to balance conflicting desires and design a lifestyle, you will not regret. Love the philosophical perspective of this site.
Hugs

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Sandy November 4, 2013 at 5:52 am

Hi David,
Thanks for the invitation to comment. I rarely do. I’m so delighted at your ability to express your everyday wisdom so eloquently. I enjoy and seem to benefit most from those everydayisms. I no longer scurry in front of a waiting car. I’m able to remind myself to participate fully in more simple moments than I used to. I awoke to deep snow this morning as Central Alberta too is quickly enveloped into those next few months of quiet white. As exhausting as it was moving the heavy, wet snow from one place to another it really was beautiful. I hope your winter contains at least as many lovely as harsh days.
The simple reminders about the beauty of life and chuckles at the ridiculousness are fascinating to me but I will continue to read whatever you write. Warm wishes from Sandy in Red Deer.

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Miss Growing Green November 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

Speciesism.

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Poppy November 4, 2013 at 6:27 am

Hi David
I am not a frequent commenter but there is one post of yours that I come back to often – “What love is not” – there is so much about that one that I aspire to. So I guess I would like to read more about your philosophies and views on human relationships (not just romantic ones).

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Tiffany November 4, 2013 at 6:45 am

I would like to read your views on dealing with negative people in life. How do you deal with being in a store with people slinging around the F word or people acting obnoxious in a restaurant? What about negative people in your life you can’t just cut out? Not a lot of people address these situations in depth and I wonder if I’m just really sensitive to it or if other people have figured out some way of dealing with it that I haven’t yet learned. By the way, if you’d ever like to tour a U.S. military base and hike the Malibu Canyons with some service members let me know!

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marian November 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Yes, this would be a fantastic perspective to read about if you’ve got any thoughts. I have a lot of friends whom I care about, but I find myself limiting my exposure to them because of their negativity. That feels very callous, but the problem with negativity is that I tend to catch some of it when I’m around them, or I have my point of view negatively influenced. I wish I could find some way to listen to them compassionately without having their negativity affect my own brain.

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Bogdan November 4, 2013 at 6:45 am

More on Headlessness please.
Thank you David.

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Trisha Dodson November 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I liked that one too!

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David Cain November 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Definitely will do some more on this soon.

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Kat November 4, 2013 at 7:38 am

I really enjoyed the writings on crossing a parking lot, drinking tea, and IKEA – such day to day things but with wit and new eyes to see them.

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Trisha Dodson November 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Ditto on this too!

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Those are my favorite posts too. I’ll definitely be doing more in the same vein.

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Mike November 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

You never mention politics. Which doesn’t bother me in the least. We share many of the same views and struggles. I see the desire to be community conscious and help your neighbor – it’s part of this blogs purpose I’m guessing. So where does government and political involvement weigh in to the scheme of your life? Or does it at all? Are we better to follow MMM’s ways of distant observation of the political machine and deal with matters closer to home? Is there value in being involved in government? Or is it really just a relatively insignificant part of our lives that would have little effect on us if it weren’t overblown by the news media on a daily basis? Haha… either that or hairless cats – definitely need more articles about hairless cats =)

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I tend to think of politics as a part of the backdrop that I am not really interested in trying to change directly. I think political change follows cultural change, and cultural change follows individual change, so in my mind it is a bit distant from my area of concern, yes. I think most people would benefit from a similar view, but television makes politics seem like it’s much more directly relevant to people’s lives than it really is.

I will get right to work on a hairless cat series.

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Cherry Odelberg November 4, 2013 at 7:49 am

I like what you write. About one in four essays make an impact on me – are exactly what I needed or wanted to hear. The others, I consider for the rest of the needy population out there. Non-religious spirituality, soul nourishment; philosophizing about everyday life and experience – all good stuff. And humor – subtle, outright, of every ilk – good stuff.

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Krista November 4, 2013 at 7:52 am

Friendship.

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Irene November 4, 2013 at 8:18 am

How about…
- service to your family and community
- how people (especially young people) are brainwashed to spend so much money on travel (especially international), which they can’t afford or don’t really care about… they are just lemmings following the propaganda that it’s a cool thing to do and it will enlighten you.
- what the world would be like if everyone was financially independent at 30 years of age.

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Carlos November 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

That last suggestion sounds REALLY interesting!

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Lan Chi November 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

I would like to hear more on how to balance responsibilities to one’s family and how to be independent and live life for oneself.

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Erika November 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

Your thoughts and views on love, marriage, polyamory, and jealousy.
I LOVE your blog btw!! :-) I’m excited you will be writing more! Thank you!

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Erika! Relationships and jealousy seem to be a popular one here. I will touch on that again soon.

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Rosalind November 4, 2013 at 8:28 am

I’d like to hear your thoughts on how to cope happily with the huge frustrations of growing old (without close family or friends to help with everything).

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June November 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

Would love to read your thoughts on self-discipline, procrastination (already mentioned by others), solitude and community.

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Lanie November 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

You’ve written about surrendering to unpleasant situations instead of fighting them. I’d like your opinion on when to surrender to the unpleasantness and keep going with it, and when to make a change in hope of something better.

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Ania November 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

Just wanted to say part of my heart resides in CO, so enjoy that gorgeous landscape!

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I am!

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DJ November 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

Consumerism and learning to appreciate what you have

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Ton Bil November 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

Please write on YOUR passion David. I just read your little essay on passion as a source of income – which it is not. It is all logical and rings bells with me. You hint at your own passion, but I could not find on your blog what it really is. I could take a guess, but I’d rather ask you to write about it: what IS your passion? How do you even know? Is it stable or has it changed over time? I am asking this, because I have found that I have passions coming an going to the forefront, but not one standing out for me for longer than a few weeks. Thanks a lot!

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I will only ever write what I’m passionate about, but that’s a pretty broad selection of things. I want to know which of them would be most helpful to the audience.

As for defining it, I can’t really. It has to do with the subtle ways we wonderful beings can interact with our environment. We are super-amazing creatures and I think we’re only beginning to play with the thousands of awesome features we come with.

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gabriela November 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

I would like to read about fear of success, how to say NO to friends and family, boycott, how to love your enemy, about shape shifters in society, the new trend to forbid everything…

big hug and good luck on your adventure!

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Travis November 4, 2013 at 11:05 am

Fear of success is a great topic!

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The Good Luck Duck November 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

I’m always up for more headlessness, or other ways of approaching non-dualism.

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Dzmitry November 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

Easily digestible tips on life, success and well being.
Making choices and their consequences
What it means to be 100% read/certain/prepared

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Lizzie November 4, 2013 at 9:35 am

From left field….I’d love for you to write about why people should consider adopting a kitten (or cat) that has been born with a birth defect called cerebellar hypoplasia. I know it’s a very specific request, but after you’re whole thing with veganism, I think you’re up to the challenge : )) And your writing is wonderful, and hearing thoughts from someone who doesn’t actually live with any CHers would be wonderful. Thank you in advance if you choose to write this for me : )) http://WWW.CHKittyClub.com *Lizzie*

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Jarrod November 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

You’ve dislocated yourself recently, moving from A to B in a very ‘minimal’ and adventurous sense, which is something the general public, I believe, shies away from. I’m curious about the dialogue between places, exchanged not in words but in the people that trans-locate between the centers of our society and in the things they bring and leave behind. There’s a great quote I ran across recently about a man who struck out looking for something only to realize that what he wanted he’d left behind. I wonder about how that affects our lives and places we inhabit.

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Pat November 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

How ego can be the source of many of our problems.

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Aubrey November 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

Dealing with grief at the loss of a loved one…I’d be interested to hear your opinion on getting through it.

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Aubrey November 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

Oops..sorry for the double post..

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Aubrey November 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

Dealing with grief at the loss of a loved one…I’d be interested to hear your opinion on getting through it.

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StephInBerkeley November 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

i haven’t looked through the, as of this moment, already 64 comments yet, but i would love to see more of the process of your writing written about…there are a lot of aspiring writers and even some like me who are more intrigued than serious about it. your style is generally warm, relatable, smart without being snide, relevant, thought provoking and spot on topic for those of us interested in self-development and reflection. and that’s not easy to pull off. so bring us behind the curtain more.

other topics of personal interest are addiction, illness/pain, relationship dynamics, and mistakes.

write on!

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Travis November 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

I struggle deeply with the topic of spirituality for the non-religious being that I am an Atheist, married to a Catholic. I think of myself as an Atheist with Buddhist tendencies, so spirituality is an interesting topic to me. I would like to hear more on your thoughts on American capitalism as my view is skewed, albeit a bitter one. I would also like to hear about your travels, what inspires you to travel? Do you go for the food, people, attractions, history, culture, etc? What is your primary driver in leaving your living room? Outside of a few ideas I just want to say I have never commented on your writings, but they are inspiring. I share them on a regular basis along with MMM’s blog. I feel like the year or so that I have been reading both blogs my concept of happiness and life has taken an unsuspecting turn toward hippiness, spirituality, and family from the hardcore, money over everything capitalist I believed I was. Thank you for providing me the direction I was afraid to go in.

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Darin November 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

I would appreciate it infinitely if you could give tips on beating depression.

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Stephanie November 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

The laughter didn’t beat my depression but it truly and certainly helped. http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

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Emily November 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

Dealing with the anxiety of cultural perfectionism and how to sit with the inevitable suffering of being human.

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Kait C November 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

What is the ultimate meaning of life? What is the function of the human race?

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Karen November 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

Paying attention to the irony in life. Reality seems to so often be the opposite of appearance.

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Michael November 4, 2013 at 11:19 am

Your pieces on mindfulness and what I’m gonna call “passive meditation” are what attracted me to this site in the first place. (Those pieces would be the ones about drinking tea and crossing a parking lot, pausing instead of waiting, and so forth.)

More articles along this vein, as well as those you listed, would be fantastic! Congratulations on your newfound FI and thanks for the great thoughts!

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Rob November 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

How do we maximize “meaningfulness” in our lives? Is there something essentially human (e.g. an altruistic impulse) in all of us that we need to foster if we want to live a more meaningful life, or are we all different such that a meaningful life can take as many forms as there are people? In other words, do you think there is something in particular we should be focused on in our search to live with great meaning and fulfillment (some specific truths/ targets), or does it just depend on all the various factors that make up our individual lives?

I haven’t read all of your previous articles, so maybe you’ve already covered some of this.

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Edith November 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

I’d love a post about your take on being childfree, another one about this experience with Mr. Money Mustache, and another one on how to be less individualistic and become more a part of a community (and how to keep involved in community stuff.

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Shane November 4, 2013 at 11:49 am

Carnism

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nupur November 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

have you read Rober Green’s 48 laws of power. I struggle with being politically correct with all the people in my life. Is life a power game we cannot opt out of because it is what it is and you are in it like it or not. Am I a dreamer and not a realist if I wish the world were different? I really think you are part of the better world I would like to live in instead of the one I actually do live in on a daily basis.

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Bodie Cabiyo November 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I would love to see you re-try your experiment with daily meditation. I know from experience how incredibly powerful a daily practice is, and I would love to see your experience with it in experimental form.
Thanks for asking! :)

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SteveR November 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I would request that you incorporate more of your personal day-to-day life into your writings, because I find it interesting to learn how other “unusual” people actually do things.

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StephInBerkeley November 5, 2013 at 3:12 am

i resonate with this request.

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StephInBerkeley November 5, 2013 at 3:13 am

i resonate with this request.

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Matt Miller November 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Money (early retirement type stuff, but also more moralistic); Anticonsumerism; How to be hopeful; Seneca the Younger; Getting trapped in routines; Falling out of love.

I love your work, it was some well-needed fresh air when I first started reading. I’m interested to see what direction you turn in.

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anna November 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I didn’t know it at the time, but your writings would become the ultimate comfort and proof that I could make the leap out of the cubicle and into the world and design a lifestyle for myself. I would love to hear about any personal hurdles you feel when sitting down to write, now that you have that time. I feel that time is both a blessing and a huge responsibility and sometimes feel overwhelmed with anxiety in trying to do a lot of the things I’ve been waiting so long to do. If that resonates with you at all, I’d love to hear about it! Thanks so much again for your voice and bravery.

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Ethan November 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Been following your blog for ~4 months…first comment:-)

I’ll second the request for non-religious spirituality. But perhaps more specifically, I’d like to hear your thoughts on subjectivism and how it relates to the concept of “meaning”. Whether you’ve landed in such a place yourself, or could perhaps comment on why you haven’t, that would be fascinating.

I’ve also noticed that you stay shy of offering commentary on many macroscopic issues. That could be because such topics are not in the scope of this blog, but I doubt it’s because you don’t think about them. How do you approach the idea of macro-scale issues and how they impact your life in general?

Thanks for writing! I really enjoy your work.

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brenden November 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm

the article where you were talking to your high school self was my favorite one it really spoke to me. something similar to that would be cool.

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David Cain November 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm

So many great ideas here already, thanks everyone!

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Adam M. November 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi David,

I have been a silent reader since I discovered your blog about a year ago, up until now. I first came across your writing via ThoughtCatalog, specifically “Why Do You Do What You Don’t Love?” (still one of my favorite posts, by the way). Soon after reading that first post, I came across one of the most influential posts for me personally, “4 Brilliant Remarks From History’s Wisest American.”
Before then, I had very limited exposure to Emerson; however, I have been exploring his works non-stop ever since that day. I began with “Self-Reliance” as you suggested and it completely changed my life. I am obsessed with that essay and still read it every month or so.
At the end of your Emerson post, you mention how you cut your original seven quotes down to four. I’d love to read a part two to that post with the other three and possibly others if you have them.
I am an Emerson fanatic now thanks to you and I’d love to have your insight on some more of his words.

Also, a similar style post about Thoreau would be amazing as well. Just started exploring his works and I am loving the Nature and simplicity themes I’m seeing so far.
Cheers.

Adam

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Miroslav November 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hmm, right now, I could really use a follow up on the “Shocking instance of self-realization” post, namely on how to ‘shift gears’ from pessimistic to optimistic thinking, how to truly enjoy change and challenge instead of just rushing through them with blood pressure and stress levels up, bolting through the unknown territory towards the first thing that seems like a cover of some longer-term certainty and stillness.

This change anxiety first got me when I was writing my Bc. thesis, and now that I graduated and all I can do is hunt for a job with no forseeable outcome in sight, it’s back to suck my energy away. My subconscious is after peace and certainty, but of course the world will continue to throw change and unknowns at me. From facing those, I only get the bad stuff; the stress and anxiety, and no matter the outcome, my happines level returns to “OK” after they’re gone. Not because I gained or lost something, but because I don’t have to bother anymore. It never goes above “OK”. So from now on, my life will stay mostly in the “alright” zone, with an ocassional down-spike to “horrible”. Is there any way to change this, or is it hardwired? Can someone train his brain to also derive pleasure from challenge and hustle, to want to get the prize more than to avoid the bullshit that comes with it? I’m asking because with that mindset, a person must inevitably be way more happy. You can deliberately bring about change any time, but you cannot always avoid it.

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Bianca Batista November 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Hi David!!!
I want read about many topics, I can’t choose something! No, I can. haha You should write about world events, how the relation event with the history global or certain local. Or write about feelings, the abyss in mind of each person. I don’t know. You have many options, more precisely 85 options, with me, 86! Choose somethings and of course I will read what you write!!! ^.^
P.S.: My english is so terrible, I know, because I’m not from USA, England or anywhere speak english.

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Réjean November 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Procrastination would be a good subject, but I suppose you’ll get to it later…just kidding.
I always read your pieces and find wisdom in them.
My blog features quotations and I have posted eight of your observations.
I find your writings interesting and challenging. Keep it up!

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John November 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

The headlessness piece has always intrigued me. I think I get what he is saying but it is still abstract to think about (which is the point I guess, realizing that the world around us is who we are).

The meetup with MMM needs to be expounded upon as well! :)

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O November 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I’d suggest you write more in-depth (perhaps multi-posting articles). Also try experimenting with different styles of writing. I feel like these two go together. Have a nice winter!

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O November 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I’d suggest you write more in-depth (perhaps multi-posting articles). Also try experimenting with different styles of writing. I feel like these two go together. Have a nice winter!

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Rob November 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Hello David. I think I like wondering what’s going to turn you; I just love surprises. Take Xmas for example; when I was older, I would pre-order presents: A pair of roller skare, a pair of DM boots, a Ben Sherman shirt. It was good no longer getting junk pressies, but it did mark the end of joy. I feel a bit the same way about telling you what I want to hear from you. I don’t really want to pre-order inspiration from you on a given topic of my choice. No, I’ll just wait and see what’s in the box

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Paul November 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Being happy with being frugal. ie getting away from being self conscious about having to “play the game” and feeling that living the accepted “normal” North American lifestyle is what we should be aiming for.
I do my best to live the way I want, my values and priorities are fairly similar to yours in most ways, but I still coward at going all in . . . or even more than 50% of all in.

sidenote: this is my first comment on the side and I fell that I should thank you for all that you do.

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Chris November 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi there,

I found your website though “Living by Default”, which I found to be a piece I think about very often. I signed up because of it, so I suppose I like content of that sort.

Chris

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Paula November 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Anything to help with constant worry and anxiety would be much appreciated!

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Richard November 5, 2013 at 2:48 am

Hi David,

I came across your blog a few weeks back after a friend emailed me a post on procrastination. I’ve been hooked ever since and I’m very glad I have.

Out of interest I’m sure you’ve already done some writing on meditation but I’d love to read more on your experiences there and although you felt you could add no more to the procrastination articles, I get a nagging feeling you still have rather a lot to offer on the subject.

To be honest I’ve really enjoy reading every article so far and I seem to have an “aha” moment at least once during every post.

Many thanks.

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StephInBerkeley November 5, 2013 at 3:22 am

and…how about a peek into how your writing success has affected your id/ego/superego… your own personal perspective on ‘celebrity’ to-date… it’s likely to grow..but how is it affecting you now, and perhaps in the future discuss how it continues to. sharing the realities of your experience in this realm are another way of keeping it real.

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Tobi November 5, 2013 at 5:03 am

I’ll tell you what I would like to see, David. YOU! Welcome to Colorado!! If you’re hanging out with our friend MMM, you’re about an hour away now. Would you autograph my laptop? (100% serious)

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Pauline Salomons November 5, 2013 at 5:48 am

Ethics – how to make the right choices when wrong is easier/more enjoyable/faster/more efficient/more ‘normal’ socially

and Prejudice. How it comes about, how we inadvertantly perpetuate it, how to avoid judement (thinking about male/female roles in society here, but could be wider: rich/poor, black/white/other, young/old, educated/not, this side of town/the other….)

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Katie November 5, 2013 at 7:56 am

More on love and sex. Maybe something on honesty.

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BRUNO CORIOLANO November 5, 2013 at 8:10 am

Why don’t you write about this competitive world we live in and why people are so manipulated by the system and they never realize that?

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Hope November 5, 2013 at 9:09 am

I was wondering, how did you like what you saw in Minneapolis? It’s on my list of places to check out. Along with many other readers I would also enjoy reading more about relationships between one another. On another note, I’m interested on your views about self worth, how we build it or tear it down, the wrestle and patience of growing.

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David Cain November 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

The trip to Minneapolis was a lightning-paced bus tour to the Vikings game so I barely saw any of the city. But I have been there before and it is a beautiful place.

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Kobe Bryant November 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

Basketball

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Nikki November 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

I can’t believe you were in Minnesota and I did not get a chance to say hello!

I have to say your article on love has touched so many cords, I thought I had dealt with, so anything on love and specifically how it fits in todays relationship madness.
teen addiction to pornography would be interesting as well.

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Rob November 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

How to deal (internally) with confrontation. Though I’ve always been good at diffusing confrontations as they take place, such an incident (even just a crossed word) will usually leave me internally quite shaken and will be inevitably replayed over and over in my mind for days to come. Learning how to deal with this more effectively has become a little project of mine. As a fellow ‘recovering introvert’, maybe you have a take on this too.

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Alicia S November 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm

In regards to non-religious spirituality i’m curious as to what your experience with music is and the power you believe it holds. It can make us cry, laugh, dance, or even bring back memories and feelings. As Oliver Sacks points out in “Musicophilia” we are a musical species no less than a linguistic one. Music has always been essential in my life but last year I began going to more live shows and I can say I’ve become a happier person through both the music and people i’ve me because of it. Just a thought!

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Jon Baker November 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Observations on why modern society is the way it is. How it got that way and perhaps where it’s going. I know this is vague…

Thanks for your writing, it’s great.

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Paul B. November 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I cut out and posted on my bulleting board in my office a bit from your article, “Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed”. That piece spoke VERY LOUDLY to me. I’d like more of those types of articles. “Minimalist living”, I suppose……?

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Zheni November 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Dear David.

I would like to hear more about love and relationships – it would be wonderful if you open more for your personal life. I’ve been reading your blog for 3 years now and I have always missed some information and insights on your relationships. I do remember a post in which you mention a french girl and it was the first time I realised that you actually do have relationships, but never mention them.

Your way of looking at the world is so unique and enriching, I have been doing your experiments with you, your articles are printed and reread many many times, but I truly miss your wisdom on love relationships.

Thank you, David. You do change my world.

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arielle November 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

when the truth/reality hurts. how to recover/accept

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arielle November 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

how to appreciate literature

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arielle November 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm

wanting something bad enough to get it

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Allyson November 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Wow – I’m not sure I can add anything different to this long excellent list of topics. I’m always interested in spirituality, finding joy and alignment…
One of the things top of mind recently has been ‘how to have more interesting conversations’ or ‘how to BE more interesting’ – not that we care what others think … I’d love a list of questions or topics to take with me to social functions that allows me to meet real people and not just be “what do you do” dull person. Thanks for all your sharing!

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Gigi November 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hi David,

I’d like you to write about your impressions of a biophysical economy in the light of the climate change and contraction of the financial markets. It’s a field that uses the Laws of Thermodynamics to explain an alternative economic theory. Some consider it quite radical, but I believe you have a talent for writing eloquently and creatively about radical topics.

Here are some helpful links to get started:
1. “Do you want to avoid the Bottleneck?” http://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/2013/11/do-you-want-to-avoid-the-bottleneck.html#comments
2. “Overshoot” by William Catton: http://books.google.com/books?id=jCKXpv-E5HsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=overshoot,+catton&hl=en&ei=81e-TI-lEJDSsAP-1LznDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

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Elliott November 6, 2013 at 7:51 am

David,

Would love to see a post about long term internal change. There are a million ways for us to change how we see ourselves and the world, but how exactly do we maintain this in the long run? Internal habits? How do we develop them incrementally and not overwhelm ourselves? You have a lot of fantastic insights into our self and world perspectives, but what makes us go from short run awwwww of the beauty and confidence in it all to actually becoming a new person…or is it even possible?

Elliott

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Joy November 6, 2013 at 8:45 am

I seem to recall you mentioning reading ACIM. If I’m remembering that correctly, I’d love to read your thoughts on it.

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Anthony A. November 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

Write about confidence and self-love (:

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KR Reddy November 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

Could you write about life skills?

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Paul Krysik November 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

Love you blog. Things that I have tried to explore since I moved to the mountains:

Mind of Bounty vs. Scarcity
Rituals
Intentional Spaces
What is true community?

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Kenoryn November 6, 2013 at 11:45 am

Why we have ceremonies and their role in our lives – like weddings, funerals, remembrance day, coming of age ceremonies, etc.

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Julie November 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

human biology vs modern life environment

getting more in touch with nature

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Lindsay November 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I’d like to hear about books you’ve loved/hated/changed you

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Luke November 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I have always enjoyed the ‘experiments’ section of your site. They have all been informative/interesting to me. In particular, I wonder if you have ever considered another attempt at meditation? I know that your consensus was that you weren’t ready for it in your early attempt back in 2009, but through your writings it’s clear that you’ve grown/changed since then. Mindfulness can be a very positive trait to cultivate, and I feel that the Vipassana style (mindfulness meditation) seems as though it would be a good fit for you based on the mindset I glean from your writings… Thoughts? There are some wonderful free resources on the practice available online, including a free ebook I would highly recommend if you’re interested.

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D November 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

How to let go of the past.

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JayP November 7, 2013 at 7:34 am

Good stuff. From what I’ve read, you’ve quit your job and maybe don’t have the FI needed to retire fully. Can you write more about your decisions and overcoming fears in this area? Will your writing sustain you financially?

Looking forward to reading your new material. Thanks.

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Michael Eisbrener November 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

I am interested in context. We are perspective machines and have the ability to hold different contexts while observing information. Most arguments, disagreements are not about the ‘data’ but about the context and we seldom take time to create context first. You have a wonderful ability to reach it quickly. There are contexts of cultures, time and my favorite a future that works for everyone. What can you see from the future?

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NickG November 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

The true magic in this world revolves around the imagination and creation of vehicles to accomplish a certain goal, be it physically or metaphorically. For instance, the hats post took the concept of calling emotions hats, then allowing you to do what you want with them as opposed to merely existing in their wake.

The perspective posts also help us to examine our world from outside our own personal storms, enabling us to see the shape of it all and hopefully steer clear of the messy stuff. These are growing moments for you, thus potential growing moments for us all.

My suggestion is to keep growing and sharing that growth. You have an empowering perspective, and I am glad it’s part of my life!

Side note: it’s interesting to read the responses, seeing what weighs us all down.

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Zale Dalen November 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I’m interested in the question of consciousness. What is it? Is it real? How does it work? I think this is the big question of our age and I’d like to hear your thoughts on the problem.

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Saeed November 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Definitely some more on overcoming shyness.

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Mike November 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Kia ora

I would be interested in how you connect with nature and the significance that getting out of the city to go hiking has on on your sense of wellbeing and on your sense of the sublime. How much value you place on this kind of activity and why.

Mike.

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Grave November 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I would like to see more things on procrastination, about self-discipline, and about letting reality – both physical realities and work-related realities – be real.

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Plex Luthor November 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

I like your pieces on Happiness, both finding happiness in the world that already exists around you, and also deciding when a change to your routine/diet/location/occupation/friendships/hobbies/whatever might increase your happiness.

Related but somewhat different, I’d be interest to know more about what you own. You occasionally refer to getting rid of stuff or acquiring new stuff, and I’d be interested in both a catalog of all your stuff or in-depth descriptions of your favorite stuff and why you love it.

One last idea, my wife and I read 10x more than we did even 2 years ago, but aren’t anywhere close to getting through the long list of books we want to read. I’d love more book reports of whatever you’re reading, so I can move the good ones up on my list, and take the less good ones off entirely.

Cheers,
plex

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Ian November 8, 2013 at 8:35 am

My favourite post of yours is probably “A Day in the Future.” Some people read it and feel guilty about things they take for granted, but for me it feels much more positive; it reminds me of all the wonderful things we have to appreciate, and that feeling of thinking about and appreciating the things we have around us is a pleasant reflection. It helps me feel better about how things are, which I find helps me quell any worry about acquiring more rather than appreciating what I already have.

Any articles you might like to write about anxiety and how to deal with it, not just social anxiety but in general, would be much appreciated. And thanks for this blog. :)

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Adrian November 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

Hi Dave,
Regarding non-religious spirituality which you mentioned in your post – don’t know if you’ve heard of anthroposophy or Rudolf Steiner’s work. Some of the most important books he left behind are “Theosophy”, “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds”, “The Philosophy of Freedom”.
Why anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner? Because there are so many concepts I found in your articles that match to the ones I found in anthroposophy that I felt you need to take a look (if you didn’t do that already).
Steiner goes much farther than presenting the concepts, he goes in the reality where they live, and is one of the few man that was able to really express them clearly in words and to apply them in social life – he gave the world a new education system (Waldorf schools), a new agriculture system (biodynamic agriculture), social tripartition, eurythmics, Anthroposophical medicine, a new architecture, new insights in science physics and mathematics (eg. counterspace notion), and more…

The books I mentioned are available also on the web (I would say they are 3 books going in 3 different directions, but I think they complement each other):
http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA004/English/GPP1916/GA004_index.html
http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA009/English/AP1971/GA009_index.html
http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA010/English/AP1947/GA010_index.html
Have fun if you wish ;)

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Adrian November 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

Sorry, I meant David :)

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Joseph November 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

I have been profoundly influenced by Asian philosophies (Taoism and Buddhism primarily), but I would not consider myself to be a religious person. If the same is true for you, I’d like to hear how you think these philosophies have impacted you, while possibly touching on how “religions” are ultimately all means to the same end. Specifically, I want to hear your take on what this end is, while maybe mentioning how the Tao, enlightenment, and God are all just different ways of describing it.

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john hopkins November 9, 2013 at 4:28 am

I would like to hear your observations about Gossip. We all do it in some form or fashion, at work, at home, with friends (Jeez we have entire TV programs that are nothing but gossip). What is it we are getting out of this behavior, it can be so destuctive and also so poinrless, would love your take on this “addiction”

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john hopkins November 9, 2013 at 4:29 am

I would like to hear your observations about Gossip. We all do it in some form or fashion, at work, at home, with friends (Jeez we have entire TV programs that are nothing but gossip). What is it we are getting out of this behavior, it can be so destructive and also so poinrless, would love your take on this “addiction”

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Mike November 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

A critique on john fowles ‘The Magus’. The ideas that underlie this work of fiction seem to be present in many of your posts.

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Randy November 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Hi David…continue to do what you do…don’t veer too far from what you’ve done already, maybe just expand on the already popular topics.

Raptitude has been a life-changer for me and I look forward to your brilliance every day, just like it is. I beg you not to venture down mush alley and focus too much on love and relationships. There are tons of blogs that focus solely on that already.

Please write some books. I, too, will wait in very long lines to buy them! This Will Never Happen Again was terrific…I read it repeatedly just to keep my head on straight.

Peace to you and continue your awesomeness!

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David Cain November 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Haha… I definitely won’t take the Mush Alley approach, don’t worry.

You will see books from me this coming year.

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Randy November 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Great news! Thank you!

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Randy November 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Great news! Thank you!

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AB November 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Hi David,

Can you please write about how you have seen the Internet itself change in say the past ten years?

For example, Google recently updated the way their search engine works. They don’t do this very often and so when they do it’s a really big deal as countless people, businesses, etc rely on Google to direct people to their .

The update has heavily shifted all their searches to that of consumerism though. I.e. I used to be able to type in a question like, “How to hang solar lights in a really big tree” and get back links to articles about how to _do_ something. I tried the same search query a couple weeks ago and on the first page of hits I got back nothing but links to websites to _buy_ something.

I don’t want to buy anything!! I just want to shorten my learning curve for attaching solar panels to the tops of very large trees. KnowwhatImeanVern?

I guess my larger fear is that a global shift in values towards materialism will corrupt the Internet (even more so than it already is) to the point that it’s no longer a useful tool for the pursuit of knowledge and benefit for the greater good. I.e. what is now uniting us together and uplifting may end up destroying us.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-AB

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Lance November 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I would love to read something on the practice of both giving and receiving Forgiveness and the rewards it can give us in our daily lives, from your perspective!

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Marie November 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

This is not an easy subject and probably not wanted by everyone, but I would like to read about fear, shame and vulnerability. Very nice and interesting blog by the way!

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Nhoj November 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I would like to hear more about seeking pleasure, whether through sex, drugs, eating, compulsively, buying things you don’t need, etc.. How to get out of the habit of constantly seeking pleasure, specifcally if you are deep into your bad habits. I read a lot of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s writings and he makes a lot of sense; although it does take a little while for him to actually get into a certain question, he knows how to explain things in a vey unique way.

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Mário Marinato November 11, 2013 at 7:06 am

Buddhism, please. There’s some kind of hype around buddhism, as if it was fashionable to say one’s buddhist. How do you see it? How do you live buddhism on your everyday life?

Oh, and music. Listening to it. Playing it. Learning it. Bonding with it. Spiritual experiences with it.

Best regards from Brazil.

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Tayler November 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

I first read “9 Mind-Bending Epiphanies That Turned My World Upside Down” and “Who You Really Are” a few years ago, and since then I have referred back to those writings in particular for guidance every time I feel lost. The information isn’t anything new, but it’s written in such a way that makes me feel as though I’m learning it for the first time. Your advice on life is extremely relatable and prompts the reader to see beyond the swarm of anxiety, destructive thoughts, and predispositions that cloud the mind. Following along with your development on this blog has helped me understand and facilitate my own personal growth, and I so appreciate the insight you share!

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Gabe November 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Would like to hear more about when to let go of/hold on to friendships that feel like they’re slipping away. Thanks David!

-G

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Ana November 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Dealing with anger

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Alex November 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Self Respect. What is your definition of self respect? How does it evolve throughout our lives? Why is promiscuity so closely linked to it? How is promiscuity linked with self respect when it comes to girls over guys? Thanks!

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Genevieve Hawkins November 12, 2013 at 6:03 am

Good post David though this is probably going to sound more like a review of your past work. My favorite of yours is “How to Make a Trillion Dollars,” the ones I found most challenging to my ideas were two of your (rare) posts regarding love, “What Love is Not,” and “Why We F*ck.” Your tendency to sound a bit too New Agey and emotionally detached showed in both, which is why I tended to agree with the married with children crowd of commenters who basically said “I think you’re oversimplifying there’s more to it than this” et cetera. Back when I did work for some writer’s mills I noticed that when I wrote about a subject matter I was passionate about my material eventually got stale, and by the fifth or sixth time I wrote about a slightly different dimension of the same thing it inevitably got rejected by the editor. I don’t know if you have that problem or not but I think you are at a crossroads artistically because of your popularity–you could continue down tried and true anthems (and great ones, by the way) regarding materialism and the man and still probably add readership. Or you can stretch into new realms (love, travel, and personal failure come to mind–that was my favorite MMM blog) and you’ll probably (but not definitely) still add readership. My suspicion is it will take you a while to find your new passions now that you’re out of the workforce, so take your time marinating if you wish. Then write about whatever passion move you, which will have changed a bit without you doing anything at all!

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Isay November 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

Your humor, weirdness and the unzipped brain are the things that led me to be addicted to your blog. I discovered you exist a few weeks ago and deym, youre a genius. In someway, i have to thank you because youve helped me in some parts of my life, others, well I still need to figure out.

I dont know if youve written about this topics ( I still have to back roll) but here are some of the topics Id like to keenly be knowledgeable.
Overthinking/ Anxiety
Universal energy
Role if religion to the paths we take in life
Desire/materialism

Kind regards, Isay

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Isay November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

Your humor, weirdness and the unzipped brain are the things that led me to be addicted to your blog. I discovered you exist a few weeks ago and deym, youre a genius. In someway, i have to thank you because youve helped me in some parts of my life, others, well I still need to figure out.

I dont know if youve written about this topics ( I still have to back roll) but here are some of the topics Id like to keenly be knowledgeable.
Overthinking/ Anxiety
Universal energy
Role if religion to the paths we take in life
Desire/materialism

Kind regards, Isay

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Patrick November 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Authenticity

Compassion

Duty

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Lars November 13, 2013 at 5:46 am

Just a few off the top of my head:

Fear(lessness) and change.
Meditation?
Downscaling/minimalism.

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Cam November 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

Zen Buddhism — or your experiences with meditation

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Cam November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

Zen Buddhism — or your experiences with meditation

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Kat November 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

I’d like to read your views on how best to build positive, healthy relationships. How to choose what people you do and don’t want in your life.

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Kobe Bryant November 14, 2013 at 4:41 am

Write about anxiety and the how much is expected of us from the modern world. and how much we expect from ourselves.

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zulieka November 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

This is my first visit to your blog, so I’ve only read a few entries (but that’s all it took to get hooked!). I’d personally enjoy something gutsy and confessional, with a little more skin showing.

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Jessica November 15, 2013 at 11:07 am

I think your blog is brilliant! An advice column perhaps, answering a readers’ questions? Or more on travel?

Keep up the good work! =)

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It Calls Me Onanon November 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I’ve been constructing my own plan for freedom through freelance and am genuinely glad the author has chanced on a pace in life that he can hit his stride from. I think every human deserves their opportunity to test their self at something; to succeed or fail. I’m doing well in just two short months, so far.

Unfortunately, what I would like to see is some truth from this blog — I’ll explain:

I was guilty of being one of the searching people on the internet who randomly stumbled on and frequented the blog because, as an individual without a real definition of the kinds of thinking that people possess outside of my own thoughts and perspective, it represented a place that offered a conversation founded in truth and perspective through an easy-to-digest form of everyday “street-level” consumption. I respected the notion of talking about life without the usual pretentiousness one might find from people who color the world and its complexities with convenient write-offs and self-made truths.

So, I engaged in topics as they interested/affected me. Most times they were directly about the author. His hang-ups and ruminations about how he acted — always boiling down to a usual comforting “street-level” prescription.

From the virtual beginning, however, my perspective was unwanted and demonstrably unwelcomed. The more I approached the conversation from provocative angles that intentionally didn’t validate the author’s or readers’ appeals for self-indulgency and over-simplifications, the more the feedback revealed to be intolerant of other kinds of “thinking” altogether. My comments did nothing more than express simple truths about life through an intellectual engagement. I’m reminded of the expression of “what goes up must come down” except explained with actual process to detail why one should understand what they’re seeing as being true. I introduced the opportunity to confront misguided thoughts, and confrontation necessarily introduces the opportunity to address a problem and change.

I was met with a terrible resistance. It came in the form of explanations that intentionally excused or over-simplified the things that I had carefully thought about and tested for confirmation. It was as if it was because these thoughts were so precious and redeeming for those who decided to think them that they had to combat me. There was feedback from the author that belittled my means of deconstructing what I saw, throwing around phrases like “Clearly it is much more complex in your mind than it is in mine. I know what I need to do.” and more from his enabler/validation readers, “You take his clear and simple writing and turn it into diluted intellectual babble!”

The most common response was “I don’t think you understand” and I know why now.

As I said, I would like to see truth, but I don’t think I’ll see it here. David once expressed “I don’t really know why you come here.”
Well, it seems that the grand perspective would suggest that I came here to talk with a world that promised to listen — an internet community supposedly focused around the very idea I was interested in — and be met with a bitter, ugly reality of people and the delusions they use to comfort their alone selves when they don’t know where to go. People so wrought full of insecurity and lack of direction that, while interfacing with others in real life, avoid confrontation by hiding their true selves.

But, the stage has been set and the conversation fixed. It’s a good talking-box for people to listen to. Careful not to think too much though, kids.

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Kenoryn November 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hi Onanon,

I have not read (or can’t recall) your other comments, so this is not a judgment of them – but I notice in this comment that you call other commenters “misguided”, and they are here fuelling their “delusions” as insecure, bitter, lonely people. Have you considered the possibility that their opinions might, in fact, be valid, and their rancour toward you may have been because you approached them with the certainty that you were right and they were wrong (or misguided, or deluded)? You clearly demonstrated above that that’s what you believe. It appears that you are certain that your opinions are superior to those of other commenters and they should be listening to your wisdom while you choose not to listen to them. Perhaps you are missing something, after all? I think it is worth considering.

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It Calls Me Onanon December 3, 2013 at 1:17 am

Hello Kenoryn,

Thanks for your thoughts.

People’s perspectives and their opinions are not necessarily entitled to varying degrees of validity. A statement can be valid and it can be invalid based on the given information. It can be guided or misguided. It can be “right” or “wrong.” For example, saying that the Jews caused the downfall of Germany is not a valid statement, not even “a little bit because they made them feel that way…”

Superiority isn’t a factor unless you’re preoccupied with setting the terms that way, but an opinion can come from more or less critical examination and as a result, be more substantive or valuable, depending on what statement you’re making.

I’m not sure why you mentioned that I believe that the people mentioned were deluded without provocation. It was their deliberate attacks, resistance and misappropriation of my character that I found to be insecure and deluded. I won’t consider that behavior or any thoughts that lead to it as wisdom.

I also didn’t mention that people are bitter — I was met with a contrary reality and called that contrariness ugly and bitter because it shattered my hopes of open, clean discourse.

If there’s absolute, evidenced reason for why something, it is certain. Diminishing the delivery of something that happens to be in that manner simply because you feel that being “certain” is a problem isn’t valid reasoning.

This is normally where I would hope to have an open discourse on the matter, but I already explained why it goes nowhere.

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Kenoryn December 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Of course there are situations where something is certainly wrong and something else is indisputably right, but this isn’t one of them; there are also situations where someone is certain they are right, and in fact that is not the case. You seem to feel that the approach you have taken to commenting on these posts is perfect, and there is no possible way you could improve. Therefore the fact that your comments anger people is entirely their fault, and not one little bit your fault. From an outsider’s perspective, the probability of that is quite low. Therefore I suspect this is one of those situations where your confidence in your own opinion is not a good indicator of the correctness of your opinion. There is almost certainly a better way for you to bring up the things you want to discuss that would be less likely to ruffle feathers. And superiority is certainly a factor if it results in an attitude of condescension. Bear in mind that no one will ever respect your opinion if you don’t respect theirs. Why would they? Whether or not you are ‘right’ or your arguments are better reasoned or whatnot has nothing at all to do with the equation. They’re just as confident that they’re right and you’re wrong as you are that you’re right and they’re wrong.

Ultimately, there is nothing you can do about others’ behaviour; you can only change your own. And if you’re on this blog pursuing self-improvement, isn’t examining that behaviour and its consequences a good place to start?

It Calls Me Onanon December 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

“Of course there are situations where something is certainly wrong and something else is indisputably right, but this isn’t one of them;”
• I’m sensing some irony. You dismissed the potency of my thinking by loading the observation proposed with a notion of “obviousness.” There’s no reason to do this other than to suggest condescension of the idea. Furthermore, you don’t approach my disposition from a respectful, equal footing. You are effectively trying to “snuff out” what I’m saying by forcibly asserting that “this *circumstance* isn’t one of them.” If you were trying to connect with me you’d be addressing why the dynamic isn’t working.

“there are also situations where someone is certain they are right, and in fact that is not the case.”
• This segue serves no purpose other than to reiterate that “YOU’RE NOT RIGHT.” It says nothing for the intellectual conversation of the matter. It is inherent that I already understand this in my statement that “People’s perspectives and their opinions are not necessarily entitled to varying degrees of validity.”

“You seem to feel that the approach you have taken to commenting on these posts is perfect, and there is no possible way you could improve. ”
• I never made this statement. To address what you’ve said respectfully, I will say that by conducting myself in a manner that approaches people is the only means of connection. The other side of the “see-saw” means that the other person must also engage in the same manner for communication to work. I am constantly seeking improvement, but if the other person behaves with poor conduct I am entitled to address it, which is the case for the examples I gave and the type of comment you’re making your argument against.
• Making a statement like this only serves to prop me up for your argument to attack me. “Making a one-dimensional caricature of someone’s motive makes it easier to attack.”

“Therefore the fact that your comments anger people is entirely their fault, and not one little bit your fault.”
• Some more caricatures and one-dimensional declarations.
From an outsider’s perspective, the probability of that is quite low.
• Meanwhile you term yourself as an “outsider” as though you are a force of utter impartialness to the matter. What set of data does this probability come from?

“Therefore I suspect this is one of those situations where your confidence in your own opinion is not a good indicator of the correctness of your opinion.”
• You never actually addressed why the dynamic wasn’t working. You declared that “how” I was commenting wasn’t right and then proceeded to caricaturize and attack my character/motives. Most intellectuals would call this means of argumentation an “Ad Hominem,” or, “attack the man.” You haven’t proved how confidence can indicate anything about validity/invalidity.

“There is almost certainly a better way for you to bring up the things you want to discuss that would be less likely to ruffle feathers.”
• I know from experience that not “ruffling feathers” means talking to people on their terms, their conditions. By doing this one would be subjecting the conversation to the other person’s “hang-ups”, subjective rationalizations and other means of displacement. It would mean NOT invalidated someone’s line of thinking and NOT confronting systemic problems.
• However, the original comments that I made weren’t there to combat people – they were there to engage in a topic openly and as I stated earlier it’s up to the other person to be competent enough to think about what’s being said instead of reacting out of insecurity or offense. Are you trying to make the argument that I shouldn’t be trying to ruffle feathers? What has that got to do with innocently engaging in conversation and being shit on for no apparent reason? What you’re alluding to requires an entirely different line of reasoning and it suggests a different kind of behavior altogether.
“And superiority is certainly a factor if it results in an attitude of condescension.”
• This is a loaded statement, suggesting that my conduct is condescending without reasonable burden of proof to back that claim.

“Bear in mind that no one will ever respect your opinion if you don’t respect theirs.”
• *You* will not respect opinions if *you* don’t feel yours is respected. These are your terms and they are not agreeable.

“Why would they?”
• Because I’ve engaged with them and actually addressed carefully and pointedly why their opinion doesn’t add up?

“Whether or not you are ‘right’ or your arguments are better reasoned or whatnot has nothing at all to do with the equation.”
• So it’s a fact that you are stating that I shouldn’t be antagonizing people. I agree and address thoughts as equal statements so as not to antagonize or belittle anyone. I don’t callously brush them off as though they were obvious.

“They’re just as confident that they’re right and you’re wrong as you are that you’re right and they’re wrong.”
• …and humans want to be validated regardless of whether what they’re saying stands up to scrutiny or not. The playing field is set – I understand the stakes.

“Ultimately, there is nothing you can do about others’ behaviour; you can only change your own. And if you’re on this blog pursuing self-improvement, isn’t examining that behaviour and its consequences a good place to start?”
• I agree.

nifsindia November 16, 2013 at 7:39 am

really wonderful blog..nice post

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Suz November 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hey David,

Could you do a piece on how to heal and inspire someone who has had rotten luck and a bad life and who doesn’t see the point in going on any further? I am at a loss as to how to help said person, and I thought perhaps you’d have some insight.

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Sharon November 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm

The responses/interest in your personal take on love and sex is fascinating to me. Maybe the topic is actually about repression that keeps us from freely discussing sex? Why is physical sexuality such a loaded topic for us?
Maybe connect with Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha (book – Sex at Dawn) and Dan Savage (sex columnist, general dynamo) and see what comes about?

Repression in general (ie not just sexual).

Marketing: why culturally do we condone promotion of frankenfood, habits, behaviors that are detrimental to us?

How physical geography dictates where and how we live.

Shared resources such as car share programs, freecycle, etc.

Thanks for your courage and your insights!!!
Warm regards and best wishes,
Sharon in Seattle

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flanfan November 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

How people create all the authorities they accept (on an individual and collective level), and how the explanation for everything ultimately lies within oneself.

Quite honestly, I’m a big fan of your philosophical musings and your ability to express them in such a deft and lucid manner, but what a lot (if not, all) of these responses amount to are people needing to be told how to act by an external authority. No doubt, advice can be helpful, but I believe it’s important for people to understand – fundamentally – that no one is ever really taught by another, that each of us has to teach themselves. Not in an “every man for himself” sort of way, but in a “you create the show” apprehension.

In other words, the external teacher can act as a sort of friction and offer only the suggestion, which arouses the internal teacher, who helps us to understand things. That, to me, seems like the ultimate form of “empowerment.”

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Dan November 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I may have missed the boat here, but I think a deeply powerful concept that deserves exploration/attention is Robert Anton Wilson’s “reality tunnel.” It’s such well coined phrase that it basically describes what it is. But, to get a greater understanding of the concept, I recommend checking out his book “Prometheus Rising.” Otherwise, here’s a rundown:

“A reality tunnel is the model of reality that you build in your head. It’s not reality, it’s what you think reality is. Just as Korzybski said, “the map is not the territory”; as Alan Watts said, “the menu is not the meal”; in the same way, your reality tunnel is not reality. It’s a model you personally built over your entire life, based on your experiences, your memories, your senses, your prejudices, your culture, and to a large and surprising degree, language. And that’s fine, that’s normal, we need models. We need models to understand what’s going on around us, to predict what’s going to happen next. But a model is, by definition, a simplified version of something. It may look roughly the same, and it gives you a good idea of things, but there are going to be places where it lacks the detail, or it’s just wrong or it’s different. And when your reality tunnel doesn’t map reality, then you are wrong. And the fact that we use these things means that we will always be wrong.”

(cribbed from: http://www.dailygrail.com/Skepticism/2013/11/The-Wisdom-Robert-Anton-Wilson-Tonic-the-Internet-Age )

And here is Wilson himself touching upon the concept, along with seeing past people’s (and our own) BS (belief systems):

Don’t Believe In Anybody Else’s BS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTLkiJUX05A

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Dan November 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Another possible topic, “selfie” – the practice of turning a camera around and snapping a picture of “oneself” – being rewarded the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. It would tie nicely into Harding’s insight about how we identify ourselves from the egoic, few-meters-away range. The practice itself – the 21st century “self”-portrait – is almost a further cementing/entrenchment of that perspective/identification.

The practice – along with its function in developing a social media “identity” and the mindset it facilitates – serves to indicate that we seem to be falling further into the traps outlined in “The Decapitation of Douglas Harding.” If you decided to do another post on Harding, the “selfie” might serve as a good springboard and/or centerpiece.

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kristina November 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I am absolutely never-endingly inspired by what you wrote about getting rid of stuff and making sure everything has a home. I repeatedly go back to this article when I decide to clean a new area of my home. More about simplification of physical material life would be cool!

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Swati December 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Can you please write about discovering and molding yourself? I am trying to be self aware and active about two things:

1. Changing the habits I don’t want
2. Figuring out what I want to do in my life

I would love your insights into either or both. Thank you :)

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Gary Hardenbrook December 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

Would the world be better off without religion and, if so, what if anything should or would take its place?

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Vivi December 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Long term depression. Feeling like you’ve disappointed yourself on so many levels so many times you’ve lost count. Having disappointed your professors. Not knowing where in the hell you’re going in life. Abusive parents. And all that wretchedness.

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