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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  October 4, 2011

How to Grind

From a doctorate exam. - 'What is the task of all higher education?' - To turn a man into a machine. - 'By what means?' - He has to learn how to feel bored. - 'How is that achieved?' - Through the concept of duty. - 'Who is his model?' - The philologist: he teaches how to grind.

We need principles (i.e. culture), not rules, not laws, not technomechanisms. Modern suffering comes from abundance and overload, a flood of options creating indecision from paralysis.

Tim Ferriss surveys the aggregate to diagnose the individual case. One must be realistic, at least with oneself, yes? That five or ten item to-do list goes undone each day with exceedingly clever excuses. Dear robot, how to become human again?

Stop reacting to virtuality, which means deprioritizing phone calls, texts, email, IM, web sites, etc, because if you allow these to interrupt your day, then surely little of importance will ever get done.

Try instead doing one thing a day, but completing it. More than one is a bonus. We are meant to fix our gaze upon a goal, not to jerk spasmodically like paranoid rodents reacting to every irrelevancy before us.

Academics and lawyers grind to produce their work product, ever in search of more information to satisfy rules. Head down, they churn, producing neither art nor anything intellectually admirable. Greatness does not live within the rules.

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