22 August 2009

There IS growth in simplifying your life.

I recently shared on my feed an article about an article about the myths of simplyfing your life. If I agreed, I wouldn't have much to write, but fortunately, I do not.

First, simplifying and going zen are two different things. Here goes the article:

The objective (if it can be said to have an objective) of zen is not happiness, but to be free from desires. When one is free from desires, he is content with the situation or the here-and-now. When you accept everything as it is, there is no need to have or pursue anything (including possessions, responsibilities, or desires) and one can simplify. There is no change and thus there is no personal growth.

So maybe there is not much growth in zen. But you don't have to be zen in its strict sense to simplyfy your life. Simplifying is to me about getting rid of distractions, of unnecessary things, not all things possible.

The problem with zen is that it's trying to eliminate all the emotions, desires, etc, good and bad. It's not living life to the fullest, but rather the opposite. It's about not accepting the price of unpleasure for getting pleasure. It's sacrificing the good stuff not to have to deal with the bad. I'm not trying to make it sound bad, it's all a mattern of an ethically neutral personal choice, it's just that for me, the more intense way of life is more appealling.

On the other hand, I love simplifying. I love growth, and these two go really well together. Here's why.

1. Simplifying is a goal. Reaching your goal is growth.

It works for any goal. I remember once seeing classmates reading a magazine about fishing and my first thought: what could be more boring than fishing? But to these guys, it was something big. Goals are very subjective: even the smallest goal can be great for someone (remember learing to walk? not so much impressing anymore, is it?) and even the biggest goal can be discredited: what's the point of you speaking 12 languages if I can never talk to you when I need to? My point is proved already.

Okay, but growth for the sake of growth... there must be something more. Well, there is.

2. Letting unimportant stuff go is growth.

Simplifying to me was, among others, shopping less. I had periond of time in my teens when I would enter almist any shop I passed by, always looking for new clothes and make-up - mostly tops and lipstick. Now I'm trying to make a better use of the things I already have and the time as well. Letting it go was more of a natural process than an achievement, but here is growth.

3. Letting small things go leaves more room for the big ones.

The day you realize something is not worth caring that much (my lipsticks don't really define me as a person, do they?), you also realize what is more important. On one hand, the inequality between people and make-up products is obvious, but when you get upset because these great shoes one sale were sold out in your size and you discard the birthday wishes from your friends, you could use a little reminding. We all do at times, and when we get it, that's what I call growth. (I won't even mention where the saved time and energy can go.)

4. Simplyfing makes you happier.

Okay, happiness isn't really growth, but it helps. Here are the most appeling examples to me: having less stuff so there is less to clean and organize, bulk cooking so you spend less time in the kitchen (cooking feels to me like something I have to do and it gets me frustrated easily), unsubsrcibing the old newsletters so you don't have to delete those e-mails anymore and can find the time to write one to an old friend, finally configuring that program right to free yourself from the repetitive task, working out at home or outside so you don't have to budget, pack and plan for the gym and other similar little things.

Just remember: everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

15 August 2009

Top 5 dumbest Wii games ever imagined (by me)

Man, do I love the Nintendo Wii for its innovative interface! So I wondered one day not how to use it best, but how to use it worst. Dumbest. Ever. Below are the potential games I came up with, or more precisely, what the main character would be:

The baker

Put the bread in the oven.

Feel the thrill!

Post office employee

Do the stamps.

Too much rock for one hand baby!

The slave

Just paddle to avoid punishement.

Let this game enslave you!

(Actually, Nintendo stole that idea from me.


Get in and clean - let the fun begin! Uses the Ajax technology.

Level 1 - floor. Level 2 - windows. Level 3 - toilet.

Barrel organ player

A creative and inventive game based on a truly original concept.

This game doesn't need any stupid marketing slogan, and yet it does have one!

More dumb Wii games here!

[Picture source, source, source, source, source, quote source]

14 August 2009

Historical tweets

Have you ever tried to imagine what Twitter would be like, if it was avaliable hundreds of years ago? Here's a wild guess by Eric Alt (source or click to zoom):

This one leads me to mixed feelings, between "LOLZ" and "omg, the youth nowadays". Fortunately, there's something way better: John Quincy Adams' diaries.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, always maintained diaries, but one was particular: the entries were 110-120 characters long, fitting the Twitter bound (140) without using acronyms like "omg" or "bff". This diary was started Aug. 5, 1809, which is precisely 200 years ago.

Now, with an exact 200 years shift, the Massachusetts Historical Society is posting those notes on Twitter! The lecture is just like reading a feed from 200 years ago.

Here's a better article about it from NY Times, with more links and info.


10 August 2009

What [not] to watch: 'Llectuals.

'Llectuals is, according to its creators, the summer reading you can watch, and the show that proves that growing up is about more than just the secretion of endocrine hormones by the pituitary gland. If that isn't recommendation enough, check out the trailer:

Too bad it's just a mock up, created by the comedy troupe POYKPAC.

The idea is great, though. Here's the full script, if you wish to enlighten your mind by broadening your vocabulary and achieve an improvement of your uderstanding of the phrases pronounced by those young people.

02 August 2009

The closest thing to a Full House reunion

Anyone remembers Full House?

More importantly, anyone cares? I kinda do! Though I'm not really star-struck on the actors, way more on the characters. (DJ is such a sweet girl and she's the eldest, like me!) But to some people, that's no difference. (A friend of mine shares his name with a fictional character from a TV show and a fan found him on Skype recently.)

Well, anyway, the cast is kinda trying to reunite (and one of the guys is supposedly trying to make a movie out of it), and they are almost succeeding on twitter. Te following are tweeting together:

According to Dave Coulier, Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie) is thinking about tweeting and Lori Loughlin (Becky) will join. He's kinda clueless about the Olsen Twins (Michelle), though, as he's pointing to a fake Mary-Kate account, when Mary-Kate uses (or technically, does not) this one and Ashley is on this one.

All of which leads to a long and interesting discussion on Twitter and authentication. But that's a different topic. Way more fitting to this blog than stalking celebs on-line, I know, but still a different subject.

[Picture source]

[Update] Jodie has joined on the 5th of August and already has over 2000 followers.