Recently, the nonprofit privacy advocacy organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation announced the passing of its founder, John Perry Barlow. He was 70. In addition to his groundbreaking work at EFF and his contributions to the Grateful Dead as a lyricist (Cassidy, anyone?), he established a set of guidelines by which all grown ups should operate.
Tagged With habits
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
The start of a new year is, of course, the perfect time for a fresh start. There's the metaphorical power, plus the numerical ease of counting days and months of success from Jan 1. But balanced against the celebratory excess and indulgence of the holiday season, New Year's resolutions can, sadly, tend towards abstinence.
"Self-improvement" is a tricky framework for resolutions. We take the phrase for granted, but what is it really saying? That changing a lifestyle habit improves your very self? That implies moral value to your choices, labelling some habits intrinsically "good" and others "bad". This ends up at the idea that your lifestyle choices affect your inherent worth and value as a person. And honestly, that sucks.
In 2017, for the first time in my life, I actually stuck to a resolution. What's more, I'd failed at the same resolution -- to make a budget and stick to it -- for many previous years. Now, if you think there's something shameful in a grown person not being able to handle her finances, you're right!
Staying motivated enough to work toward our goals can be tough. The minutia of life can get in the way of our lofty dreams - which is where the non-zero method comes in. The idea is simple: Do just one thing every day that help you move toward what you want to achieve. Even if that's just performing one sit up or drinking a glass of water, at least you'll have made some progress.
Maxis's video game The Sims teaches an important lesson about human behaviour: Most of the time, we're just trying to meet a set of basic needs. In the world of the Sims, those needs are hunger, comfort, hygiene, bladder, energy, fun, social, and room, each represented by a slowly depleting bar. And they're so true to life that you should check your own before you leave home or start a long trip.
I once showed up to a party alone, before any of my friends arrived. Instead of mingling, I hid in the bathroom to kill time and avoid talking to strangers. Embarrassing but true. For a shy person, social interaction can be a stomach-churning, anxiety-filled experience. It was for me, but I was able to get it under control with some work and become comfortable talking to strangers.
It takes time and discipline to develop better habits. While there are tricks that can help make those habits easier to form, we often throw money at the situation to try to make them stick.
There's nothing inherently wrong with reading Facebook, unless you'd rather be reading a good book instead (and that whole fake news problem.) Luckily, the habit loop, which David Kadavy describes as the "habit hook" in his post, holds the key to breaking that Facebook habit and replacing it with a reading one.
Rock climbing is one hell of a strength-building workout. Not just for your upper body, but for everything. I recently joined a rock climbing gym in Los Angeles, paying $US79 ($103) each month for something I actually love to hate. And yet I keep going because, in addition to training my body, I am really training to get over my fear of failure.