What I took away from this comment was: Mainstream meditation teachers are not happy with Martin because he has redefined “awakening” to mean a thing that is good and people want (being happier), rather than a thing that is strange and possibly bad that people don’t want, and is teaching people the good and wanted thing instead of the weird mysterious thing.
Couple questions about this sequence.
Is there any plan to write down and post more of the surrounding content like activities/lectures/etc.?
How does CFAR feel about “off-brand”/”knockoff” versions of these workshops being run at meetups? If OK with it, how should those be announced/disclaimed to make it clear that they’re not affiliated with CFAR?
I’m interested in this as an organizer, and based on conversations at the meetup organizers’ retreat this weekend, I think a number of other organizers would be interested as well.
For some non-AC options if you don’t manage to get one in time: Those little spray fans that also mist you with water are remarkably effective. They usually are battery-powered, so still useful in a power outage.
Also, drinking cold smoothies is surprisingly cooling—probably any consumption of ice-cold water/stuff will get you a similar effect. I drank many of them to get through heat waves in San Francisco.
In the DC area there are much fewer places without A/C, since it’s pretty critical to human functioning here. I always found it weird how many rental places didn’t offer A/C in the South Bay, given that it was clearly necessary some of the year. People in California are too used to temperate weather or something.
An uncle of mine was a professional mountain climber for years. I vividly remember him telling me a story about when he and his best friend started to slide down an icy mountain and had to pull their ice picks out to drag along behind them. I was waiting to find out how they got out of it, when he said “And that’s when my buddy died.” It was real life, not just a story.
He mentioned with some regret that he’d never climbed Everest, “but at least I’m alive and still have all my toes.”
Oh, and a trick re: your problem of rotten food. Take the food, put it in gallon Ziplocks in the freezer until trash day, and then throw it out. I don’t bother with this myself, but I know someone who does this with raw-meat-based trash because they also have problems with animals in their garbage.
Re: basic cooking skills and stocking a kitchen: Some cookbooks actually do help with this! One of the best resources for a very beginning cook is The Joy of Cooking, which contains pages of detailed illustrations about how to do very basic kitchen tasks. It also has substantial sections on how to select high-quality produce and meats, and various other forms of kitchen-related advice you’re looking for. I’d definitely recommend checking it out. (Full disclosure, I haven’t used it much in years because I’m a more advanced cook at this point, but I did look at it a fair bit when I got it as a gift upon graduating high school.)
How can I listen to my body to know intuitively which foods are making me healthier, or sicker, or when it is better to fast?
My belief is that most people who claim to be able to do this in full generality are lying. Our bodies evolved in an environment that is totally different from the current one, and processed foods are optimized for tricking them into believing that the food you’re eating is good. The biggest thing you can learn to do more “intuitively” is pay attention to whether you are hungry or not. To some extent, though, this is also manipulated by processed foods, which are designed to trick your sense of hunger—see e.g. https://www.stephanguyenet.com/ for more documentation/evidence on this (I’d also recommend his book The Hungry Brain for a general model of how this works, though not much specific advice). The reason “processed foods” are worse for you is generally because of this process of technical optimization for anti-your-goals, performed by many expert food scientists to try to get you to pay more for food. A rule of thumb that flows out of this is that non-processed foods are better for you because they are poorly optimized.
Am I getting enough salt and electrolytes?
This one you can answer via checking yourself regularly for dehydration symptoms, which include: dizziness, lightheadedness, blacking out when you stand up, headaches, or feeling thirsty. You’re more likely to have problems with this if you have low blood pressure in general. If you notice these symptoms, you probably need to drink more water as well as consume more electrolytes. Most people don’t drink as much as water as they should, so by default that’s more likely to be a problem than not getting enough electrolytes.
How can I have a positive attitude towards healthy choices, and avoid frustration?
I like the attitude promoted by Reinhard on his websites, including http://nosdiet.com/. His general attitude is that the most important thing for diet/exercise/lifestyle change in general is to make things as sustainable as possible. Focus on making better habits that work with your life, rather than an optimal diet that you’ll never stick to.
Hope this is helpful! I think Reinhard + Joy of Cooking gets a lot of what you’re looking for.
Here’s one example: my house! Our purchase price was around $460k. You can estimate the value of unimproved land by subtracting the value the house is insured for from the actual price. It’s insured for $360k, so our land value would be estimated at $100k. (I’m sure there are better ways to estimate this—and I imagine if taxes depended on it, people might try to change their insurance amounts to game the system—but it works for now.)
From a quick look at Craigslist, it seems we could rent the place out for maybe $2,500 per month. Multiply that by $100k/$460k and you get that around $540 of the rent is coming from land value, which comes out to a yearly property tax of $6500 or about 6.5% of land value.
Landlords sometimes use a rule of thumb that a property is a good investment if you can charge at least 6% of the purchase price in rent per year. This is pretty similar to the 6.5% I got. In general, it seems that a roughly 5-6.5% tax on the unimproved land value gets you around 100% of the land rents.
($6500 is about 3x our current property taxes, which I think correctly reflects the fact that our house is in a pretty desirable location and the house itself isn’t that amazing. Actually, the current Redfin estimate on our house is at $540k, so it would be even higher than that.)
Cool :-) In case it’s useful, let me share with you the vows we used:
“In the presence of these our family and friends, I take you to be my beloved, promising to be a loving and faithful partner. I vow to cherish your spirit and individuality, to face life’s challenges with patience and humor, to respect our differences, and to nurture our growth. I will share the world with you and delight in seeing it through your eyes. Together, we will build greater things than either of us could alone.”
The first two sentences were taken from various Quaker wedding certificates I found online, and the second two we wrote ourselves. We wanted them to be true to ourselves and our relationship, but also feel timeless, not tied to specific things about ourselves or our hobbies like some vows you hear these days.
Maybe not what you’re looking for, but I greatly enjoyed having a Quaker unprogrammed wedding. The format is that everyone sits in the same room for roughly an hour, and when someone (including any of the guests) feels moved to speak about the couple or marriage in general, they stand up and speak. It’s very warm and meaningful, and conveniently doesn’t require you to provide any content except for your vows at the end :-)
Typically these weddings would not have an officiant, but if you need one for legal reasons or because you’ve already asked somebody, you can have them step in when you do the vows.
I wasn’t expecting to based on the title, but I like this. I think it’s important to be able to hold commitments in mind for your future self. But it’s also important, when trying to hold your future self to something, to be conservative about what you commit to so you don’t screw up your ability to make these commitments in the future.
I can think of several times when I explicitly tried to … do something like acausal trade … with my future self.
When I was about 9 years old, I had a very complex set of relationships with other kids, including some kind of “war” and an on/off relationship with a specific boy. I remember thinking to myself, “Usually, when people are adults, they think this kind of thing that kids do is stupid. But future me, you’d better not do that. Think of this as important. This is really important to me.”
When I was deciding which college to go to, I attended a weekend at one of the places I was accepted that they held to attract students. I really enjoyed it, but the college was extremely expensive. I thought, “Hey, future self… I don’t want to hold you to this, but listen, this is REALLY nice. I know it’s expensive, but seriously try to work out if there is any way you can go here, for real.”
When I was giving birth (recently), I thought, “You know, I’ve been planning to do this again, but holy shit, it sucks. Future self, seriously consider whether this is actually worth it.”
I’m shaping up to ~violate the commitment in all 3 cases, but I think there are good reasons that past-me would accept if they knew.
1: I don’t find it that important in retrospect, but it’s not because I was “only a child” at the time; it’s because basically all things in life recede in importance when they happened to you a long time ago and you don’t interact with the relevant people anymore. I plan to try to honor this commitment by having more respect for the experiences of children in general.
2: I didn’t attend the expensive college. I did try quite hard to figure out if it was feasible, but unfortunately I was lacking in good information about money at that time in my life. My best guess was that it would have been pretty crappy graduating with that much debt, and I now think that was basically true. Ultimately, though, my life would have been so different that it’s hard to say what the right decision was.
3: Haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I do plan to have another child, even keeping in mind the agony of childbirth (note that I did have medical pain relief, but they don’t tell you how bad it can be even with that). My past self wasn’t aware of how great having a newborn child was, and I like to think would agree that this is the right choice all told. (Also, later births are on average easier, so that helps too.)
That one’s also a little hard to pronounce, so I think we’d have to collapse it to “assrat”.
Re: no e-book version: here’s a script for downloading glowfic posts and continuities into epub format: https://github.com/rocurley/glowfic-dl
Emily Oster has commentary on the CDC milestone update that I find very compelling:
The last round of developmental milestones from the CDC focused more on what we would expect from the average child. This update is intended to capture something like: at least 75% of children at this age would meet this milestone. This means, then, that if a child is not meeting it, they are in the lower 25% in terms of that area. And this is the group we want to flag for possible early intervention. Prior to the update, the guidelines were closer to identifying the average — the 50th percentile. But, of course, moving from a milestone that identifies the 50th percentile of the distribution to one that identifies the 25th percentile will change the expectation.
Makes way more sense for the milestones to be 25th percentile if the goal is “have the milestones set that you SHOULD freak out if your child doesn’t meet them”, i.e. most children will meet them rather than only 50%.
The capitalism version of this is to just buy each item you want to try and sell it on Craigslist if you don’t like it. Then the overhead is nx*(Craigslist penalty). For most products the Craigslist penalty hovers around 0.5, but for some it can be significantly higher and you can sell them almost for the new price.
I think the “uncommon activities” thing is important. Here in Maryland, we only get enough snow for sledding a few times a year, and every time it happens all the good sledding hills get crowded and usually shredded up by the end of the day.
Both the child and parents can face legal consequences if they do this unilaterally. I found this by googling “usa truancy laws”: https://www.findlaw.com/education/student-conduct-and-discipline/truancy-sample-state-laws.html
But there are some ways around this, e.g. signing your kid up for “home schooling” (this may be difficult and require your kid to take tests, depending on your state), switching to a private school, convincing the school that the student’s absence should be excused, etc. For “why aren’t they doing it”: bad reasons, see the rest of this post.
You said unschooling had a big impact on your life. Do you think it was positive or negative on net?
If you had kids of your own, would you unschool them, homeschool them, or do something else?
What differences have you noticed between yourself and non-unschooled peers?