A disenchanted polemicist

If I was to write anything about my experience with the latest events it would probably be a mind fuck.

I’ve tried to get out of the funk because of the recent events but I think it was helpful because I was getting too comfortable. 

I don’t exactly know how to evaluate my options. Sometimes it seems like there are so many options in front of me and other times it feels like I should just hit the eject button and escape it all. 

I’m not particularly depressed but I tend to lose my motivation to keep going too quickly at times. Perhaps it would be easier if there was an element of performance in this whole thing. Unfortunately or fortunately there isn’t.

I have experienced many things in my life and while I don’t think I have seen true suffering the variance of experience has made me think about things. My experiences have taught me about culture and the different strands of events that impact people’s lives. 

I don’t know if this does it for everyone but the more experience you have the more you start to question the relevance of things. Or things might go the opposite. You might revere society and its ways to such an extent that living a certain way becomes important. However, it has left me disinterested in people’s so-called “motivations”. I think they are just stories that they tell themselves to carry on. At the very core of it all, there’s the desperation to understand what it is that one is doing here. Are these the first inklings of a mid-life crisis?

In all this thinking about things, I have learned to wait for more data. I have learned to hold strong opinions loosely. I know that certainty about any subject can lead to misunderstanding and confusion about the subject overall. Hence what is required is more thinking. Thinking about things deeply perhaps at times brings us to the conclusion that those things don’t matter but you have to think about them. Of course, it is important what you choose you want to think about. 

Knowledge, Not Boring & Space

I haven’t meditated for a long time (relatively) and that is a bit frustrating to realize because it was a good habit. At least, I thought, it was a good habit and it was helping my brain switch off from the constant updates that I was receiving from everywhere. I will get back to it starting today. Right after I finish this post. (Isn’t this how it always goes? A little later, a little bit later). Right now I want to create a new habit. One to write one post daily. Then refine along the way.

I want to write about a few things today and more important than anything else I want to make sure that I write every day about things that interest me. I don’t want to become a person who is consuming and regurgitating opinions without any knowledge. I don’t just want to consume and be informed. I want to connect the dots and convey knowledge (see Knowledge Graph).

Individual data points and insight are related but not a one-way connection; image credit: © Maxger

Something that caught my interest early was Not Boring by Dan McCormick. He clearly illustrates how more can be with a simple email. He clearly illustrated how important it is to have an idea and execute it early with the simplest of tools. Dan McCormick wrote a simple email called Not Boring that talked about everything Venture Capital and eventually now has an audience of about 200,000. He himself started a fund supported by his audience and allows them to have skin in the game. 

One of Dan’s latest areas of interest is Space. Space technology is growing like anything and there has been substantial money poured into this ‘space’. 2021 alone saw $14.5bn invested by private capital firms into startups. I started tracking this space a few months ago after a newsletter from Dan and it connected deeply with my prior experience (starting a Cube satellite project in undergrad, attending satellite navigation control courses at IIT-B, etc.). However, I didn’t act on it. I should have gone beyond the Google sheet about emerging players and created content that illustrated the players to track this space. Like Space Capital did.

WEF: Top 10 Countries in SpaceTech Sector in 2021; image credit: SpaceTech Analytics

This brings me to Alex West. Alex is a guy who started as a daily blogger and now is at a stage where he is earning $500k/yr with his clients. Of course, there were failures involved. “19 failed products” as he states frequently on different media.  However, in the long term he made choices to focus on the right things and results followed. His story is inspirational but the devil is in the detail. What I take away from all this is that I need to write and I need to write with structure and speed at the same time. 

What I lay out here in this post is day one, step one in a long journey that will build on everything that I have achieved in the past. I hope I am successful but I will stumble along the way. What I want to be sure of is that I put effort into this thing that I am trying to build and I have fun while doing it. It is not going to be easy but it will be something that will energize me and not drain me. Excited about the next steps.

Unearned Wisdom

There are things that I want to talk about and write about but I’m unable to bring myself to get some structure.  So finally I settled on putting structure to some thoughts I jotted down during a conversation I listened to recently. I thought about writing about a topic that Jordan Peterson mentioned during his conversation with Joe Rogan this past week. They were talking about Ayahuasca and the impact that psychedelics can have on individual perspectives. They veered into this topic after starting with something about religion. I don’t appreciate the conversations about religion myself but I appreciate Peterson’s opinions on quite a few other things things. In all honesty, I sometimes think he’s quite correct about religion as well. I just don’t want to take the correctness of his opinions, especially about religion, for granted. I want to arrive at them when I do by myself without a canvas painted by imploring opinions eloquently stated. As they eventually started talking about psychedelics, Jordan Peterson quoted Carl Jung. 

“Unearned Wisdom”

I am yet to unravel the context of this quote from Carl Jung myself but cursorily I understand that it was about the feeling of having become wiser following the use of psychedelics. This nicely encapsulates my opinions when a friend tells me about their experience with or the need to experience psychedelics like Ayahuasca. I think there is a yearning to understand the world and these substances feel like a shortcut to that understanding. I feel like many individuals are distressed today because of several reasons and alternatives seem like a way out. I know this not just from observing but also know from personal experience. At this very moment, I have a part of me that wants to go to the gym for the rest of me. I know that this is something I need to do in order to keep myself functioning to the best of my ability. Yet, I keep delaying the decision and even do something that is arguably more challenging intellectually than making the decision to go to the gym. I know that I am trying to take a shortcut. However, I know that while I have a tendency to take the easy way out I need to push myself in one way or another and hence I am extracting the effort to compose this little essay from that ‘diversion’ that my mind thinks it is taking. Yes, I know I’m talking about my brain’s thoughts in third person.

I am a curious person and I understand that sometimes my curiosity can get the better of me and hinder me from being productive. I know these things about me and when I decide to undertake a task I have to take these shortcomings into consideration. When I do this I am not answerable to anyone but myself. However, I am aware enough at the same time to know what I don’t know. I think the lack of this trait in combination with the inability to push oneself is what leads a large majority of people to despondency. That stagnation then forces individuals to look for alternatives to jump-start something exciting in life. Something that will either radically change the direction of things or bring some new flavors to life. Ayahuasca and other traditional psychedelics are the answer to this despondency. Is it the right answer? Not in my opinion but it is just one of the things that the universe throws at us when we are clamoring for ‘different’. 

The Road Within

There was a friend with whom I thought I’d have a long and old friendship. The kind where one looks back and hums songs of old before completing the tune. Unfortunately, that was not the end of that relationship and it was in some ways bitter to part on the paths we did but still not apart. This person at a time in that past put me in touch with another friend who wrote this poem. It was written from her heart during that time of life when we all go through a tumult. I did not want this poem to be forgotten in the annals of the dark web i.e. my email inbox and hence wanted to put it up on my blog. Here at least some fortunate web crawler will crawl, index, and store it in an indexed version for years and years to come. I don’t think this poem is worthy of grandiose claims of human ingenuity in literature but it’s a part of history that was mine, not my personal history but part of the history that was mine. Perhaps one day we meet and I can share this for her to reflect on the past that perhaps she would be proud of. So here goes…

The Road Within..

The road within

is the road I must travel now

my Master is calling

I must listen to her now..

The roads around me are very beautiful

But none as much as the road within,

All others may lead to happiness,

But only this one leads to bliss.

I had always feared it,

because it holds the reality,

Reality of the evils of my mind,

Guised under the garb of morality..

But my Master is now,

urging me to walk..

Walk if I cannot run

and crawl if I cannot walk

Because soon one day she said,

a time will come,

when no longer will I be a participant,

an observer i will become

An observer I will be

to the schemings of my mind

and laugh I will at it

At its fruitless attempts to misguide

Laugh I will in deliverance

laugh I will like a new born child

laugh I will at my new birth

like a caged bird let lose in the wild..

The road will become my home

like the brightest star I will shine

I will be one with myself

My consciousness will merge with the Divine…

This is the only road 

that I will travel alone 

There is no goal

there is no end

the joy is in the travel alone..

These Days

As always this note didn’t belong to the day today but I’m getting to it only today. I’m using a structure from another day. Perhaps an example of structure i.e., no matter what inspired by what allows thought to become legible.

This continues to be relevant today as well. I only got 5k today but I got in 10k yesterday. I don’t feel extremely exhausted but the running is becoming more painful. I’m not sure exactly why that is. I think running every day is a mandatory part of my day. At least until I restart Jiu Jitsu again. That is happening for sure but the motivation keeps changing. 

I have no complaints whatsoever about the work. I do want to accelerate my growth and get to the next level as quickly as possible but I have no complaints whatsoever. I do not want to stick to the 9-5 aspirations though. I want to grow out of the reliance on someone’s decision about how much value I may add and instead refine my output to the extent that I can add value directly. This blog is an effort to that end. However, as it stands right now I have no complaints and I’m gearing up to steadily improve the output value and content. On the day-job note, I have recently been involved in an effort to interview candidates at work. This isn’t something new but I’ve restarted my part in the effort. 

The interviews are a good experience for me. They teach me about a perspective in an interaction that I will find myself in quite a few times in my life. I am usually the interviewee and while one can guess what it feels like to interview there is nothing like the actual experience. I am hopeful that these experiences will make me a better interviewee but also a better communicator in general. Besides this, I’m working on a few things in my day job as well. 

I can’t write much about the new assignments at work but I hope to write a summary of the day’s activities going forward. This was something I had envisioned after I joined the job right after my MBA but I didn’t act on it. Now I plan to change that next week. Hopefully, a daily summary not only does allow me to keep track of everything I’m working on but also make the best decisions. Of course, the management of time will be a big part of it. 

Other than that there are a few pictures that I took this weekend. I continue to upload them to my personal “Instagram“. Maybe there’ll be a section in the book that will be dedicated to images.