Links & Thoughts 🫡

March 09, 2023

Book Rating - Zen in the Art of Archery

Rating 4/5

To be free from the fear of death does not mean pretending to oneself, in one’s good hours, that one will not tremble in the face of death, and that there is nothing to fear. Rather, he who masters both life and death is free from fear of any kind to the extent that he is no longer capable of experiencing what fear feels like.

Nothing more is required of the pupil, at first, than that he should conscientiously copy what the teacher shows him.

The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.

"That’s just the trouble, you make an effort to think about it. Concentrate entirely on your breathing, as if you had nothing else to do!"

January 25, 2023

Book Rating - On Writing

Rating 4.5/5

At the end of my adventures I was drinking a case of sixteen-ounce tallboys a night, and there’s one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember writing at all. I don’t say that with pride or shame, only with a vague sense of sorrow and loss.

Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.

In fiction, the paragraph is less structured—it’s the beat instead of the actual melody. The more fiction you read and write, the more you’ll find your paragraphs forming on their own. And that’s what you want.

I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

But the important thing is to push through, to not become depressed. I try to remember that we’re all amateurs at this, and every time I sit down it’s like the first time. I battle doubts all the time about whether or not this thing is working or that thing’s working, whether or not the idea is good. The one thing that I never really doubted is the language, the ability to put the words together.

August 22, 2022

Projet Hail Mary

Rating 5/5


I can’t imagine explaining “sleep” to someone who had never heard of it. Hey, I’m going to fall unconscious and hallucinate for a while. By the way, I spend a third of my time doing this. And if I can’t do it for a while, I go insane and eventually die. No need for concern.

“The math of famine is actually pretty easy. Take all the calories the world creates with farming and agriculture per day, and divide by about fifteen hundred. The human population cannot be greater than that number. Not for long, anyway.”

“Why humans need water so much, question? Inefficient life-forms!” I chug a full liter bag of water I’d left in the control room before the EVA. It’s thirsty work. I wipe my mouth and let the bag float off. I push off the wall to float down the tunnel to the lab. “Eridians need water, too, you know.” “We keep inside. Closed system. Some inefficiencies inside, but we get all water we need from food. Humans leak! Gross.” I laugh as I float into the lab where Rocky is waiting. “On Earth, we have a scary, deadly creature called a spider. You look like one of those. Just so you know.” “Good. Proud. I am scary space monster. You are leaky space blob.”

August 16, 2022


My therapist gave me a hypothetical question: "How much money do you want to feel content?". It didn't take long for me to respond with "Maybe like $3-4 million?". My reasoning was that I thought this was enough to "protect" my family from unexpected health conditions / incidents (at least financially) and then some for myself. This q&a by itself didn't mean much, but I think on this on top of the other topics we discussed that lead to this question, my therapist asked me to look up rumination. I think he suggested that I do a mild form of this and to practice being aware of it.

August 08, 2022


Pressure and limitation of resources is surprisingly important. It’s counterintuitive in a lot of ways where you just think that you got all the time and resources in the world that you’re going to get something better, but sometimes ”Necessity is the mother of innovation”. When you don’t have a choice, it’s surprising what you can do. - John Carmack

I felt this a lot in the past few months and believe I can make it out on better side. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily feeling stressed, but instead a sense of urgency, frustration, and motivated all at the same time. Dear future me, if you look back on this, hopefully you learned to figure your way around this :)!

June 30, 2022

Book Rating - Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Rating 4/5

Everyone is a brother to all, and for the first time an idea has been realized that never came to fruition on Earth: true equality. The Communists are baffled and irritated, because they have finally achieved their perfect society, but only by the help of a God in whom they don’t want to believe. The meritocrats are abashed that they’re stuck for eternity in an incentiveless system with a bunch of pinkos. The conservatives have no penniless to disparage; the liberals have no downtrodden to promote. So God sits on the edge of Her bed and weeps at night, because the only thing everyone can agree upon is that they’re all in Hell.

Here in this Purgatory, all the people with whom you’ve ever come in contact are gathered. The scattered bits of you are collected, pooled, and unified. The mirrors are held up in front of you. Without the benefit of filtration, you see yourself clearly for the first time. And that is what finally kills you.

In truth, God lives a life very much like ours—we were created not only in His image but in His social situation as well.

God finally landed on an ingenious solution while watching light diffract through a prism. So when you arrive here, you are split into your multiple selves at all possible ages. The you that existed as a single identity is now all ages at once. These pieces of you no longer get older but remain ageless into perpetuity. The yous have transcended time.

June 11, 2022

Book Rating - How To Be Perfect

Rating 3.5/5

No one explorer can map the whole jungle, so you end up gravitating toward certain thinkers and away from others based on nothing more complicated than how much they resonate with you.

One: the work of making better choices is frequently annoying. We just have to accept that. And two: it can be done—if we want to do it, and can summon the time and energy to make it happen.

“Would it be okay if everyone did this? What would the world be like if every single person were allowed to do whatever I’m about to do?” If that world seems twisted, or unfair, or nonsensical, you should probably do something else.