The Three-City Problem of Modern Life — interesting read and social commentary about the lives we live today. We either live in the city of reason, of faith, or of technology. Living in one city isolates us from the rest of the world and that makes us feel incomplete.
^ This is probably only applicable to US readers, as a ROTH IRA is a specific tax-advantaged account offered by the government. But if your country has a similar offering, then some of the info might still be useful.
On Social Media
Social media is like a sandbox where you can observe mimetic theory and mimetic desires in full display.
Shortly after hearing about Mimetic Theory, which I mentioned in Journal Entry – 005, I happened to run into this podcast episode. I listened to it in the hopes that I would learn more about mimetic desire/theory, as well as find evidences of it in our modern world. This podcast episode did not disappoint.
Here are some of my takeaways after listening to the podcast:
One talking point in the podcast was René Girard's interpretation of the story of the adulterous woman brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11). This is the story where Jesus famously says, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Before he even utters that famous line though, the bible passages specifically says that Jesus looks down and writes on the sand, while the scribes and the Pharisees try to get a reaction out of him. By the law of Moses they said, a woman caught in the act of adultery will be stoned. Jesus averts his gaze and keeps writing on the sand.
So, how long does it take to form a new habit? Apparently, it takes an average of around 66 days, or 2 months, to form a new habit. That is way longer than what is normally mentioned in articles or magazines I’ve read. That means if you want to build a habit of doing pull-ups right after waking up, you need to consistently do it for 2 months straight.
After reading this essay, Peter Thiel's Religion, and finding out about the idea of mimetic theory, of us imitating others, my mind was opened up. I'm starting to see it around me. Most of everything we do is imitation. I don't quite know yet what to do with this new found information, but I'm excited to find out more about it.
This is perhaps the best sermon I've heard from Bishop Barron. In this sermon, he talks about how earthly goods and values keep us in an addictive pattern. To counter that, he talks about knowing how to “wear the goods of the world lightly.” It's an excellent sermon that ties in the first and second readings to the Gospel.
If you have an interest in minimalism, detaching from material possessions, finding joy and happiness with less, you might want to watch this. It's 14 minutes long, but well worth your time.
One good tip that was shared in that post is that a personal website/blog is the perfect place for you to experiment with your own ideas. Not everything will work out of course, but keep trying and some will.
This also tells me that if your personal website won't allow you to do that, then you probably have a professional website as opposed to a personal one.
One thing that is often mentioned in the book Hardwiring Happiness, is that we don’t linger on positive moments long enough to build neutral structures in our brains for it.
Something positive happens, we feel happy, then we move on. The moment, the feeling is gone in less than 10 seconds. We move past it just like that, almost like it never happened. Kind of a similar experience to scrolling the feed on Instagram, don't you think? You see a photo, you hit like, you move on.
Anyway, this got me thinking, if lingering on the moment can help with making ourselves happier overall, can journaling help with that?
Maybe one way for us to linger longer on that feeling of happiness, is to write it down on our journal. Every time something positive happens, we write it down on our journal. And since writing something down with pen and paper takes time, maybe that time is all we need to linger on the positive moment and let it positively affect our brains.
A good friend of mine once said, the mark of a good rock band, is being able to perform their songs in acoustic format and still sound good. Well, here are two bands with some great acoustic renditions of their rock songs.
First up is Shinedown with an acoustic version of “Atlas Falls”:
This was supposed to be a part of a bigger journal entry, but I found that I had more things to say on this topic, so it gets its own dedicated entry.
Blog Posts vs Notes on a Digital Garden
An interesting observation I've made is that I bookmark blog posts, but I do not bookmark notes from digital gardens.
Does this mean that blog posts provide more valuable information? Not necessarily, but they have their advantages from a reader's perspective.
I think it's just easier to settle on a blog post I want to read, than to pick notes to read from a huge digital garden. It kinda relates to the article I read about Overchoice. It is hard to make a choice, when there's too many choices to make. And that's usually the situation with notes on a digital garden. The chronological or reverse chronological order of blog posts, which is looked at as a bad thing nowadays, is what makes it easier for me to pick something to read.