Unknown Unknowns #29 - Environment
3 min read

Unknown Unknowns #29 - Environment

Went hiking at Mount Tammany today.

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It was my first time out of the city in a while.  The environment you're in matters a lot.  I'm in a course by Daniel Vassallo and he made the point that we are affected by our environment, whether we know it or not.  Walking around in nature brought up a lot of ideas that may not have had if I was in the city today.  

Have you ever thought about how your environment shapes your actions and thoughts?

This Week:


I didn't finish an essay that I wanted to complete by this week on the digital diaspora.  Two weeks ago, I promised I would publish an essay in a week and it worked so let's try that again.  I will have this essay for you next week.

I think I also left out the link to my essay on Someone Else's Solution last week, so here it is again:


Ava discusses individualism vs collectivism.  

I believe there are aspects of each that are necessary but not sufficient.  There's also a spectrum of people, probably along a bell curve.  An extreme few can accomplish their goals and go through life living a life of extreme individualism.  An extreme few can accomplish their goals and go through life living a life of extreme collectivism.  But the vast majority of us need to both take action and work together with other people.  

I haven't met anyone who could improve without taking any responsibility.  And I've rarely met anyone who's been able to accomplish anything solely by themselves.  Like everything in life, there are nuances, there are grey areas, and there are dynamic cycles of recursion and fractals.  Just because you don't "need" something doesn't mean it wouldn't make things a lot easier.

=> Article Here

A writing trick.  Set the margins when you write to narrow.  Writing involves a lot of editing, and this will make you read faster (apparently) and thus write faster.

I haven't tried this (yet), but it's a low cost experiment, so why not?  

=> Article Here

Another writing technique from Sasha Chapin.  He says that writer's block is when you lie to yourself.  You always have thoughts running through your head, therefore there's always something to write.  Writer's block is yourself refusing to acknowledge this fact.
This is similar to how I view life.  You need to acknowledge what you want to be happy doing anything.  When your actions are not consistent with your thoughts, you will not be happy/satisfied/content/etc.

FYI - I've been able to address writer's block through stream-of-consciousness journaling which lets me eject all the random crap out of my head.

=> Article Here



I used to delight in this term.  To me, it was what everyone really felt and if you felt it, it meant you were being honest to yourself.  I first heard  it from Avenue Q.  

But my attitude has changed over the years.  Failure isn't moral.  There's a large degree of luck.  And it can almost always be positive, you can learn from almost any mistake.  

It reminds me of the unattributable quote, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  What do you get out of this emotion?  How does it benefit your life?

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,