Fragmented thoughts of a fragmented mind

07 Sep 2014

things I think about

So I mentioned in my last entry that I was writing four days in a row, and that I should write whenever I want, because I have no idea when I’m going to stop writing. I think I should stop cursing myself, for I developed a migraine the very next day.

Migraines are a mixed bag for me. Don’t get me wrong. I hate them. It is one of the worst things that can happen to someone who actually enjoys thinking. The powerlessness I feel when I retain all bodily function except the capacity to think. I had one of those migraines that were lingering but yet not debilitating – which lulled me into believing that I could still function.

I ended up sitting in front of a screen for the entire day feeling like shit because I thought I could do some work, but in reality I couldn’t, so it ended up being really unproductive because it would have just been better for my overall well-being if I had just taken the day off and rested.

But. The day I started to get better, I experienced a profound sense of joy. It was having lost the capacity to think temporarily and then having it back again. This sounds perverse but I would welcome a migraine once a while just to have a stark reminder of how not to take my health for granted. Being able to think, to write, and to express myself is a huge human privilege that I often take for granted.

I remember biking down Valencia street that day and having this huge smile on my face. This is how it feels to be well, I thought to myself. The problem with us is that we don’t know how huge a miracle it is just to be alive and functioning well. How much did we have to evolve in order to develop into a stable set of genes that empowered an entire species like us? I didn’t realize how much of a wonder it is to be capable of thought, imagination and creation. Imagine if some part along the way we mutated instead into creatures that had the capacity to think but unable to express ourselves because we had no limbs or voice? Yes, this is what I spend time thinking about.

It is really difficult to manage one self. I know how fleeting health can be, so that’s the exact same motivation that is behind my conflict between wanting to be a workaholic and yet having enough space and time just to be. I want to do so much because I have no idea when I’ll lose my capacity to think. But it is worse when I become the primary driver of my self-destruction if I burn out. That’s what I think about too, trying to find the right balance.

I biked to the Golden Gate park on both days this weekend. Maybe it was partially because of the migraine. The awareness that sitting at a desk all day does not do much to oxygenate my brain. Partially because I think exercise is one of those things that feels really tedious just to think about it, but becomes really enjoyable once there is an opportunity to set a positive feedback loop. I know people who will literally suffer if they do not do some long bike ride or climb some wall every other day, unfortunately I don’t have that impulse built into me. I have always disliked physically moving, because just thinking alone tires me out.

But it perpetuates a vicious cycle, because I did experience it first hand before – it is true people, that more physical energy does translate into more mental energy. It is simple science, but I was in total denial about it. For people who like to think, thought comes so easily that it seems almost unbelievable that it requires a source of energy.

In other news, I have been having conversations with interesting people out of internet serendipity. It energizes me in a very different way when I am able to meet peers that I can ask questions like – “do you think our rate of change will be quick enough to circumvent our rate of destruction?”, or “why is the human species capable of such intelligence but yet we’re still fighting wars?”

One last thing that has been on my mind a lot lately – the idea that the Stellar protocol can be used to power innovative credit systems. The latest one I thought of during a conversation today – what if one day we can pay for our college education with credit that is amassed not financially, but through performing volunteer work? I am really intrigued bridging different ecosystems and empowering micro-communities with micro-economies.

If we want the world to be different, we have to start thinking different, and acting different.

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