Monthly Archives: August 2016

10,000 Steps – Thoughts on Goals

Actual, Physical Steps

I use the Pacer App on my iPhone which records the number of steps I take. I assume this works by sensing the bounces in my strides. I came to this conclusion by observing that it continued to accurately count my steps when I was walking on a treadmill and not actually moving from one place to another. The goal is to take 10,000 steps every day. Overall I think this has been a positive addition to my life in that by using it I am probably getting more physical activity that I would otherwise get without it.

IMG_0664Using the app has changed my daily behavior. For example, now when I go to a store I will purposefully park far away in order to add to my step count. I have also noticed that if I have not reached my goal for the day every activity I engage in is valued to some extent through the lens of how many steps it will generate.

There is a significant downside, however, in that I do feel compelled to take my phone with me where ever I go so that I can get credit for the steps that I take. In this way my iPhone has further still intertwined itself with my daily existence which is something I struggle with and perhaps a topic for another blog post.

Self Improvement

It is all about self improvement and partly inspired by a blogger I follow named James Altucher. He advocates engaging in what he calls a “daily practice” consisting of self improvement in four areas of life daily. These areas are (1) Intellectual (e.g., reading or learning something new), (2) Physical (e.g., going out for a walk), (3) Emotional (e.g., keeping negative influences to a minimum) and (4) Spiritual (e.g., praying, meditating, engaging in religious practice). I try to follow this practice and use the 10,000 daily steps as a means of improving myself physically.

This is important because I have a job where I spend a significant amount of time sitting at a desk. It is good to break up the day by taking a walk. I used to feel guilty about leaving my desk to take a walk because I felt that was time I could have spent working. But now I realize that if I do not take care of myself physically then the other four areas of my daily practice will suffer. For example, if I do not take care of myself physically I will have less stamina and concentration to perform my job or other pursuits. I will also likely feel more irritated and less fulfilled as well. For these reasons, I now feel entitled to my 10,000 daily steps.

Accomplishing Goals in the Now

I usually make a point of getting most of my steps in by noon. But some days are busier than others and I find myself thinking that I will put off taking my steps until the evening. Unfortunately, I have found that this to be a mistake because more often than not when I do put my steps off until the evening I never actually end up reaching my goal of 10,000. There is a lesson in this. It seems similar to the adage, “never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.” Only in this case it is, “never put off until the end of the day what can be done in the morning.”

Of course the goal renews itself daily so I never make myself feel guilty if I do not actually  reach the goal. This would be counterproductive because if I do make myself feel guilty (aka employ shame as a motivating force) I will eventually become resentful with the goal in its entirety. When this happens I am likely to say, “To hell with it!” and give up on the whole scheme. Accordingly, if I do not reach the goal (which almost never happens) I know that the goal will be there when I wake up in the morning and that is the end of that.

Goals Should Be Daunting at First

I have a goal of 10,000 steps per day. It is said that people must practice a skill for 10,000 hours to master it. The journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step. There is nothing magical about the number 10,000. The nexus between these three ideas is that the goals are daunting at first but with persistence (that is, additional steps) the goals are eventually achieved.

When I first had the idea of taking 10,000 steps per day it seemed a little daunting. So I started out with a goal of 5,000 steps and every day after I tried to exceed the number of steps I took the day before. Using this method I eventually reached the real goal of 10,000 per day. Now a day does not seem complete if I have not reached that goal. It is a good thing that 10,000 steps seems daunting at first because that means in order to accomplish it I must push myself a little harder than I am used to pushing myself. There are probably 10,000 steps between the starting point and the achievement of any worthwhile goal. But I have found that most goals in life can be achieved eventually by continuously taking steps towards their achievement.

 

 

 

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Meta Comments

pic 8.20.16

 

I am not sure who else is reading these posts except myself and the white supremacist who has been obsessively commenting on my blog. I have now found myself in the situation where the subject of my blog posts concerns the comment section of the last blog post (which in turn concerned itself with the comment section of the post before that). The statistics WordPress provides me indicate that people from countries other than the United States are viewing my blog and I do get likes from people who are not the white supremacist so there are definitely other people reading. I cannot imagine why this is but if you (gentle reader) fall into this category please make a comment so I do not have to only read the comments made by the white supremacist which will make it easier to steer this blog in a much needed different direction.

The white supremacist has several clichéd catch phrases that he repeats over and over. Interestingly, this is a trait common to almost every conservative I have observed. I suspect this is a way of simplifying the world by labeling things and placing them into categories. Rush Limbaugh does this a lot for example. Among the white supremacist’s favorite catch phrases are “Radical Autonomy”, “Self-Annihilation” and “Objective Supremacy”. He has steadfastly refused to define either of these catch phrases in a satisfying manner. For example, he has accused me on many occasions of having committed the sins of Radical Autonomy and Self-Annihilation. As best I can tell one annihilates himself by being radically autonomous. I am not sure exactly what this means but I know that he connects these two terms with being a “liberal” (another one of these categories conservatives love to throw around). He has also accused me of “not believing in Objective Supremacy”. I have explained to him that I do not know the definition of “Objective Supremacy” and as such, I do not know whether I believe in it or not. He seems to take this response as a confirmation of his belief that I do not believe in Objective Supremacy.

The essential nature of these words is how they are employed in a circular manner to define each other. A liberal is radically autonomous and therefore a self-annihilator who does not believe in objective supremacy. He has made the argument that all definitions are circular within a “closed system” of thought. I agree that he is closed minded but I do not think that is what he means. I think what he means is that all definitions are ultimately circular because nothing can be defined without reference to something else. This is true, however he has not defined these terms in reference to other concepts except in one illogical instance.

When I pressed him for a definition of “Objective Supremacy” he provided a list of terms one of which included “God of the Bible.” I then asked him if Objective Supremacy means God why not just say God? He avoided answering this question which I found interesting. I have stated several times that I believe in God. So, if God means Objective Supremacy then by the transitive property I must also believe in Objective Supremacy. Accordingly, he either does not think that I believe in God (which he has not stated) or Objective Supremacy means something other than God. If so, he is logically contradicting himself. I have no doubt that he will deny this (see the inevitable comments below). I also have no doubt that the explanation he provides for his denial will raise more questions than it answers.

He has not made any comments in the past few days although I am pretty sure he has been regularly checking my blog because for a few days I have seen 1 U.S. visitor with a number of views. In a very real way it is a relief that he has not been commenting. The constant back and forth although on some level amusing is also draining and negative. I am confident neither one of us will ever appreciate the other’s viewpoint. But the exchange is ultimately not about proving the other wrong. As with all trolling it is about getting a reaction out of the other person and getting the last word in on the argument. If he does comment on this blog post I intend to press him to make clear the contradiction regarding his “definition” of Objective Supremacy. But if he does not comment on this blog so much the better.

 

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Comment Section Dialog

One of the things I find challenging about exchanges between debating parties on the internet whether it be on message boards or in the comment sections of blogs is that the parties tend to make too many points in one post. When this happens it becomes impossible for an opposing side to argue every point effectively because the chain of ideas becomes too fractured. That is why I tend to respond to only one point in any comment I make. That way the conversation stays clear and coherent (or at least that is the intent).

Over the past year a very judgmental and obsessive person has been commenting in bulk on my blog. This individual named Thordaddy identifies as a white supremacist who is not a Christian but worships Christ as a perfect man nonetheless. There is something about my writing that apparently gets his goat which makes our exchanges entertaining for me. (I am not proud of the fact that I do enjoy getting a rise out of him by the way). The comment section of my last blog post is no exception to this dynamic. In that comment section it would have been too cumbersome and ineffective to respond to every point he attempted to make. As such, I thought it would be interesting to break apart the first section of his comments by individual point and address them individually in this blog post in the form of a dialog.

The passages marked TD are his own words taken directly from the comment section of the previous post. The passages marked WS are my responses that I did not make in that comment section but attempt to address them now. Feel free to refer to that comment section for the original text of the exchange.

DIALOG

TD : Even in your NOW genuine quest for a more perfected self made aware by a desire to resolve all mental conflicts, YOU DELUDE YOURSELF as to the true nature of “thordaddy” FOR THE PURPOSE of a self-sabotaging. There is simply not existing within ANY OF YOUR RETORTS actual evidence of a true belief in the idea that you are “f$&king” with some “poor guy.”

WS : Don’t you think the fact that I need only mention “some poor guy” without referencing “Thordaddy” to get a huge response out of you is evidence of my ability to bait you?

TD : Stripped down to its bare naked letters, your rhetoric is, in reality, incredibly pathetic now GIVEN the size and scope of the dialogue and the informative analytics which measure the impact of my work HERE.

WS : I don’t really understand what you are talking about. However, you do sound kind of angry and full of yourself.

TD : If your take were more in line with reality then “we” would have witnessed some sort of piling-on effect by equal-minded winston Scrooges. “We” have “seen” NOTHING of the sort. And of course, AS YOU HAVE REITERATED time and again, I have no actual side ready to pounce upon you. So what is closer to reality is that your fans are mere spectators in no way prepared to engage in the dialogue as they leave you all alone to do the best you can.

WS : I don’t have an extensive readership or following. You by far constitute the bulk of the comments on my blog over the past year or so. It’s not like I have created a community of my blog readers. As such, I don’t find your argument here particularly persuasive.

TD : Then again, YOUR SIDE does not really BELIEVE in doing the best one can. Your side DOES NOT BELIEVE in the perfecting of the self. Your side only believes in the annihilation of the self AS absolute liberation.

WS : When you say “your side” do you mean the non radical, right-wing, nut job side? Also, I don’t know where you get the idea that I don’t believe in perfecting the self. I strive to improve myself every day in various areas. This blog is an effort to improve my writing skills for example.

TD : And now your continued obliviousness to the above is the very empirical evidence one would look for so as to declare this dialogue to be amongst a radical autonomist and a white Supremacist.

WS : That is a circular argument which relies upon undefined terms. All your rhetoric seems to follow this pattern which I find very interesting. You say you have defined the terms you use but your definitions are usually in the form of other undefined terms that in turn define themselves based on the first undefined terms . I have to wonder why you shun using the ordinary definitions and word usage that everyone else uses. I suspect it has to do with you wanting to “separate” from reality and live in a world of your own construction rather than in the real world that actually exists.

TD : What is clear is that when a radical liberationist meets true belief, he is at a loss, SELF-EVIDENTLY. And when that “true belief” is “Perfection as operating paradigm” then said liberationist INEVITABLY morphs radical AS HIS ONLY MANDATED REACTION. So if YOU REJECT “Perfection as your operating paradigm” THEN you will just self-annihilate. In other words, if your spirit is not put to the idea of Perfection THEN your Ego will be busy devising many ways to annihilate your Self so that its “perfection” IS SIMPLY OUT OF THE QUESTION.

WS : But I don’t reject perfection. I know that does not fit in your circular, “logical” scheme which is probably why you continue to write as if I do reject it.

TD : And this is exactly where the masses “stand.” Perfecting their selves is out of the question… Out of their minds… A real absurdity… And you stir this pot THROUGH your anti-white Supremacy.

WS : I admit that I do not self identify as a white supremacist but that is a good thing. A great deal of evil has been wrought throughout human history under the banner of racial supremacy.

 

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A Conversation with Writer’s Block Part III

I burned Cate's book today in the woods as a symbolic conclusion to this project.

 

WS : Your underlying premise so far has been that writer’s block is caused by a subconscious, psychological process designed to protect me from experiencing uncomfortable feelings.

WB : Yes, that is essentially what I am in a nutshell.

WS : So how do I break through?

WB : The first method is to muster the awareness and courage to break through the writer’s block which means you have to allow yourself to experience that uncomfortable feeling that you are unwilling to experience.

WS : That sounds simple enough to do from a theoretical perspective.

WB : It is simple but unfortunately it is also impossible. At the very least it is extremely difficult to do.

WS : Why is it impossible?

WB : Because you cannot change the fact that you are unwilling to experience something simply by declaring that you are willing to experience it. The truth of the matter remains that you are unwilling to experience it and making a declaration of your willingness to experience what you are unwilling to experience is simply a misstatement of reality.

WS : How does a writer get through you then?

WB : In order to bypass the mechanism that I personify a writer must distract me or sneak by me in some manner.

WS : How does a writer do that?

WB : What I am about to tell you will probably only apply to you on the level of the specific because everyone has different fears. However, it may work to shed light on the process of writer’s block in general and in that regard may help someone other than you who happens to be reading this.

WS : Lay it on me.

WB : A method you are employing right now is to write in dialog. For some reason this allows you the freedom to generate ideas in a way that writing prose does not much of the time.

WS : Why is that?

WB : I think it works because you are in a sense stepping out of your head which is where the fear resides and stepping into the head of another entity that does not have that particular fear.

WS : Yes but the head I am stepping into is created from my head so really I’m not stepping out of my head.

WB : True, but you cannot deny the results. It is a slight of hand, but it works so why question it?

WS : Are there any other methods?

WB : Sure. Recently you have been generating a great deal of material for your blog by debating a certain individual who is let’s say easily antagonized. This seems to be another way in which you can bypass me. Do you know why that is?

WS : Well, by entering into a dialog with him it is in a sense like entering into a dialog with you. We bounce ideas off of each other and together we come up with something that neither one of us would have come up with on our own.

WB : Yes, that’s part of it. The other part of it is that you sort of “get off” on fucking with the poor guy. You get a charge out of it and that charge is perhaps more enticing that the fear is scary. Does that make sense?

WS : It does although I am not proud to admit it.

WB : Part of you is not proud to admit it. Part of you thoroughly enjoys it. We’re entering into territory that you have covered extensively on this blog. It is the addictive nature of trolling that is caused by a personality that was shaped by shame.

WS : Yes. A shame based personality enjoys making other people feel ashamed. This is the primary reason why people pass judgment on others and why they cloak their judgment in morality. They judge other people because they get off on it. It feels good to put other people below them hierarchically. But they cloak this desire for relative supremacy in morality and objectivity in order to mask this true desire.

WB : Right. We don’t need to go too deep into this. It is good to acknowledge that is what is going on here and to recognize what a powerful motivating force this is. It is so powerful, for example, that you can harness it to bypass your fears.

WS : But there is an evil negativity associated with it.

WB : Yes. It is dishonest in that it claims to be doing something good and right when it is actually serving a base desire. It is also evil in the sense that it achieves its goal of benefiting you by hurting someone else.

WS : Yes, and the more I use it the more I feel pulled to the dark side and become dominated by it.

WB : It is an addiction in other words.

WS : Yes, it starts out serving me or perhaps more accurately it starts out with the appearance of serving me but eventually displays it’s true nature and becomes my master.

WB : So although it can be a powerful force it is probably better to leave it alone.

WS : It is difficult to do that. I find that it comes and goes in waves. I will indulge in the behavior. At first it is fun and exhilarating but after a period of time it begins to disgust me. At that point I cut myself off. At first being free of it feels liberating and peaceful but after a period of time it becomes stale and boring. And so I think maybe I can do it just a little bit. And so I do and the cycle repeats itself. I know that if I were to strive for a more perfect me I would divorce myself from this cycle entirely. But again it is difficult.

WB : It is but if perfection were easy we would all be perfect.

WS : Assuming we all want to be perfect…

WB : Good point.

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