🎲 Loving these little game books from Lost Pages. (Also, similar editions like Isle of Ixx and Vaults of Vaarn.)

Auto-generated description: A book titled Beyond the Pale by Yochai Gal features a cover with two stylized human figures on the left and a hand emitting zigzag lines on the right.

The #USMNT really Berhaltered that game last night.

My game hierarchy:

  • 🎲 Role-playing games
  • 🃏 Card games
  • 🕹️ Video games
  • ♟️ Board games

Read: The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter 📚

This was an extended magazine article, not a book. Entertaining, but with flimsy arguments.

My Reading Highlights and Notes


We’re detached from the things that make us feel happy and alive, like connection, being in the natural world, effort, and perseverance.


He called this “prevalence-induced concept change.” Essentially “problem creep.” It explains that as we experience fewer problems, we don’t become more satisfied. We just lower our threshold for what we consider a problem. We end up with the same number of troubles. Except our new problems are progressively more hollow.

Tags: definition

Call it comfort creep. When a new comfort is introduced, we adapt to it and our old comforts become unacceptable. Today’s comfort is tomorrow’s discomfort. This leads to a new level of what’s considered comfortable.

Note: But is this just hedonic adaption?

Tags: definition



The state of sumikiri provided by misogi is why ancient students of aikido would immerse themselves in natural bodies of cold water. Waterfalls, streams, or the ocean would wash away their defilements and reconnect them with the universe. More recently, the idea of misogi has been applied to other forms of using epic challenges in nature to cleanse the defilements of the modern world.

Lapsing into flow requires two conditions: The task must stretch a person’s limits and it must have a clear goal. The flow state, Csikszentmihalyi and the other researchers now believe, is a key driver of happiness and growth.

Preventing kids from exploring their edges is largely thought to be the cause of the abnormally high and growing rates of anxiety and depression in young people.

By facing some challenge but not an overwhelming amount, these people developed an internal capacity that left them more robust and resilient.

50. 70. OR 90.

along the way I took comfort in the fact that I am not alone. We all suck at new things. But clumsily exiting our comfort zones offers way too many upsides to ignore.

learning new skills is also one of the best ways to enhance awareness of the present moment,

Once we’ve done something over and over, our mind zones out of whatever old thing it’s doing.

In newness we’re forced into presence and focus. This is because we can’t anticipate what to expect and how to respond, breaking the trance that leads to life in fast forward. Newness can even slow down our sense of time. This explains why time seemed slower when we were kids. Everything was new then and we were constantly learning.

people remember duration as being shorter on a routine activity than on a nonroutine activity.”


Kanazawa calls his idea the Savanna Theory of Happiness, and the general rule of thumb is, the higher the population density wherever a person is, the less happy they’ll likely be.


Our general discomfort with solitude may be due to how society frames it. Consider how we discipline children: time-out. Or how we punish prisoners: solitary confinement. This tradition, Bowker thinks, may have cued us to believe that normalcy is found through others and that solitude is punishment.

Research backs solitude’s healthy properties. It’s been shown to improve productivity, creativity, empathy, and happiness, and decrease self-consciousness.

(less than) 70 MILES AN HOUR


our collective lack of boredom is not only burning us out and leading to some ill mental health effects, but also muting what boredom is trying to tell us about our mind, emotions, ideas, wants, and needs.

Our brains essentially have two modes, focused and unfocused. Focused mode is a mind at attention. It’s on when we’re processing outside information, completing a task, checking our cellphone, watching TV, listening to a podcast, having a conversation, or anything else that requires us to attend to the outside world. Unfocused mode occurs when we’re not paying attention. It’s inward mind-wandering, a rest state that restores and rebuilds the resources needed to work better and more efficiently in the focused state. Time in unfocused mode is critical to get shit done, tap into creativity, process complicated information, and more.

Each time we reflexively take out our phone or turn on a computer or TV to kill boredom, it attaches another tiny anchor to our stress tolerance, dragging it lower. Scientists at Oregon State University found that daily stressors like lines and waits can improve our resistance to some brain diseases if we simply suffer through them and shrug them off. More of these everyday stressors are actually better for our brain.

And so, despite what productivity gurus will have us believe, the key to improving productivity and performance might be to occasionally do nothing at all. Or, at least, not dive into a screen. It prompts us to think distinctly, in a way that delivers more original ideas.


They discovered that 20 minutes outside, three times a week, is the dose of nature that most efficiently dropped people’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The catch to that study, of course, was that the participants couldn’t take their phones outside with them.

In nature your brain enters a mode Hopman called “soft fascination.” It’s similar to unfocused mode—but with one key difference. “Instead of mind-wandering and lightly focusing inwardly, you’re lightly focusing outwardly on the nature around you,”

Tags: definition

Brain scans show that soft fascination is a lot like meditation. Hopman described it as a mindfulness-like state that restores and builds the resources we need to think, create, process information, and execute tasks.

Twenty minutes, three times a week, is great. But it’s at the bottom of what some nature scientists have dubbed “the nature pyramid.”

Time in this semiwild stuff comprises level two of the nature pyramid. Research, in part thanks to Finland, says we should spend a total of about five hours in it a month.

The rewilding of our body and brain usually goes something like this: On the first day stress and health markers improve, but we are still adjusting to the discomfort of nature. We’re thinking about how it sucks to be cold, missing our phone, and still focusing on the anxieties we left behind—what’s happening at work and whether we closed the garage door. By day two our mind is settling and awareness is heightening. We’re caring less about what we left behind and are beginning to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Then day three hits. Now our senses are completely dialed in and we can reach a fully meditative mode of feeling connected to nature. The discomfort isn’t so bad. It has, in fact, shifted to a welcome sensation that signals a calmness and feeling of life satisfaction.


Our brains are wired to think loud = danger. We react by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, stress hormones that kick on the fight-or-flight response. Our doses of noise-induced stress hormones used to be infrequent but lifesaving. Today’s jarring background noises spur the same fight-or-flight response. But the difference is that these noises are nearly constant.

Gordon Hempton traveled the country in search of silence. He now believes that there are only 12 places in the Lower 48 where we can sit for 15 minutes and not hear a single noise created by humans. No droning planes, trains, automobiles. No blaring TVs, cellphones, or radios. Just natural soundscape. Some of these 12 places are spots in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Hawaii’s Haleakala National Park, and Washington’s Hoh River Valley. North America’s other consistently quiet places are way up north, where I am: Alaska, the Arctic, Yukon, Northwest Territories, etc.


The Japanese call this kuchisabishii, which literally means “lonely mouth” and describes our constant mindless eating.

Tags: definition

Just 3 percent of the people who lose weight in a given year manage to keep it off. Their secret isn’t some special food or exercise no one else has. It’s their ability to get comfortable with discomfort.

Continuously trying to add more stuff on top of what you’re doing and constantly experimenting with shiny new things is almost never the answer. It just adds another layer of stress and complication. I believe people should be doing less and eliminating limiters to progress.

Each person tracked and reported:

• How much and what they ate. This involved weighing all the food the person ate to know true serving sizes and, therefore, calories. • Their typical daily routine. • Their sleep schedule. • Their stress and energy levels. • Their daily weight. • Their workouts and step counts.

“I quickly ‘solved’ hundreds of problems just by virtue of improving a person’s awareness of their own behavior,” he said.

Once we eat, our brain releases dopamine, rewarding us for the behavior. This creates a circuit in the brain that associates food with dopamine.

Our brains evolved to release more dopamine when eating calorie-packed foods

The carb-fat combo doesn’t exist naturally, but it’s one that humans clamor for,

He recommended that I distract the discomfort of reward hunger with another form of discomfort: light exercise. “Find some ‘calorie negative’ ways of dealing with stress,” he said. “Walking is my number one. It relieves more stress and is health promoting. It leads you to burn calories rather than onboard them. And it removes you from the situation and adds time for reflection, where you can realize that you weren’t really hungry.”

Humans and other primates are uniquely predisposed to chronic stress. That’s because we’re smart, social creatures who have a lot of downtime to be “miserable to each other and stress each other out,” according to Robert Sapolsky,

The key quality that made a food filling: how heavy its 240-calorie serving size was.

12 TO 16 HOURS

Rarely feeling real hunger is a strong sign that a person is suffering from the ill effects of comfort creep,

The data shows that we don’t typically gain weight in a linear fashion, like a quarter pound each month for a total of three pounds at the end of the year. Most of us maintain our weight most of the year, then experience periods of gain,

But it is agreed that these people weren’t eating around the clock. The research suggests they likely ate one or two meals a day.

Other research shows that programming two “hungry days” per week where we eat around 500 calories delivers benefits.

Another option is to string together five “hungry days” in a row, once a month, eating just 700 total calories.


12/31, 11:59:33 P.M.

some scholars have argued that American attempts to dematerialize are just another form of materialism.

It consists of “cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues….If we look into our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so-called ‘responsibilities’ accumulate to fill them up….Going on as we do, obsessively trying to improve our conditions, can become an end in itself and a pointless distraction.”




81.2 YEARS

Play.date for scale

Humane AI pin, play.date, and Rabbit R1

Summer dos and don’ts: Tick safety - Indianapolis Recorder

However, the best way to prevent ticks is by wearing an EPA registered insect repellent. For those who want to take it a step further, Green recommends treating clothes with the insecticide Permethrin, which can be put on clothes and, once it dries, is effective for several washings. Permethrin not only repels ticks but stuns them, so they just fall off of clothes.

⚽️ ugh Manchester City is the worst

I would really like to renew The Economist, and they keep sending me offers, but their web system is so broken I can’t. Chat support didn’t help either. Support just wanted to negotiate about price.

At this point I’m just going to let it expire and then get a podcast-only subscription, instead.

🎶 May artists report:

#1 American Arson

#2 Demon Hunter

#3 Front Line Assembly

#4 Zao

#5 Juno Reactor

Two men, one wearing a denim jacket and the other a black jacket, are standing and sitting against a brick wall background.

I have a little bit of sympathy for the “but these crimes are minor, you are just running a vendetta” in the sense that, yeah, these convictions are actually not near the worst of his crimes.

But, you take wins as they can get through the judicial aystem. They got Capone on Tax Evasion, after all.


Listening to Umbilical feels like smiling while getting your teeth kicked in, because you know how much work it took for the assailant to get so strong.

Making Sense of Thou’s Messy Metal Discography | Bandcamp Daily

📚 After we got Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown coffee, we walked to, then circled Powell’s like vultures, waiting for it to open.

Cool experience, especially the rare books room. Restricted myself to just 3 books and some free bookmarks/stickers.

A collection of books, bookmarks, and stickers, featuring titles like The Happiness Hypothesis, Utopia for Realists, and This Is How You Lose the Time War.

🍺 whoa, “Gigantic Great Morning Maple Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout” may be better than the Midwest (Goose Island, Founders) breakfast stouts.

Kinda makes you want to put more former presidents on trial for their crimes.

They’re playing Joy Division in this restaurant and the song is 45 years old.

How is this possible?

Saw some women at the Farmer’s market with “plain” (e.g. like Amish/Mennonite) dresses but heavy makeup.

Never seen that combo before and curious what faction it is!

Malort has made it to the west coast

“Chicago handshake $10&10;&10;Shot of Malort & PBR”

I’m not usually one for “brands” but I am absolutely making sure to enjoy:

  • Powell’s
  • Stumptown
  • Tillamook
  • Voodoo
  • Pendleton