How To Let Go

I found a great article on Raptitude about the difference between making it go and letting it go:

All experiences do go, guaranteed, but you don’t make them go, you let them go.

This is what I actually have a problem with! I don’t let things go, I want to make them go away when I meditate.

I’m trying to understand the difference between letting things vs making things go. Making something go is when I explicitly try to force something to happen (I’m forcing it to disappear). Letting go means that I give up control and then watch what happens.

That watching part is what’s fucking hard. Control is so deeply integrated into my ego (and others’ ego), that it could cause a frustration when I meditate. Letting go is such a great power to have. When it happens, it’s really freeing, but there are no shortcuts to this power. I have to learn by doing it.

More about this:

Letting things go is a skill we can learn, but it’s easily confused with making things go, which is usually impossible.

I like the way John Yates, a meditation teacher and neuroscientist, makes it part of a longer phrase:

Let it come, let it be, let it go.

This phrase reflects a realistic understanding of how life actually happens. All experiences arise and fade, and that can be observed in real time. There’s no such thing as a permanent experience. Each one comes, is, and goes.

We need to stop and observe our experience carefully to really see that happening. This is the basic aim of mindfulness meditation.

If we develop sharp enough attention, we can see specifically what feelings and experiences we tend to cling to, or push away. Then we can consciously, gently refrain from pushing or pulling, and let the experience go. We can become free of the stress around a given experience, even while that experience is still happening.

Last year I had sleeping problems which caused by stress. I wanted to sleep, so I tried all kinds of tips which should have made me sleepy. I took a nice hot bath, I drank some kind of weird tea and so on. None of them worked because I wanted to make it happen, not let it happen.

After a couple of days (maybe weeks) trying to get a good night sleep, I gave up: if I’m gonna get some sleep, then fine, if not, well… then whatever. I had this freeing feeling when a thought risen in my mind: I don’t have to deal with it, it’ll go away and I can sleep when my mind wants it too. Basically, I gave up control and went into some kind of “fuck that” state. Things just came and went, which was life-changing.

I haven’t really found out how exactly I did gave up control, but I learned that doing it goes way deeper than simply saying I’m giving it up. If I’m still expecting something to happen, then I’m not giving up control (or letting it go), I’m just looking at it in my mind from the opposite side, but on the same level. I have to throw out the whole thing by leaving it there, not circling around it.

Eight months without Facebook

I believe relationships take time. Conversations. Support. An investment in one another. And in that regard, getting off Facebook acted as a sorting mechanism. I found the answer to: Who will make time to hang out? For me that’s a small group, but a treasured one. And sure, it can feel lonely while you look for your people in the flesh-and-blood world. But it gets easier the more you invest in your relationships.

Text people. Set up a coffee date. Schedule a movie night, or a game day, or happy hour. Join a book club. Get your ass out there. I’ve gotten pretty introverted these last few years, so it takes effort, but in the end, it’s worth it.

I can relate to these ideas.

The Alternative to Thinking All the Time

Wine tasting is nothing but a particularly specific and well-developed way in which human beings have learned to notice their present-moment experience. We can “taste” any present moment in the same way, as long as we make a point of noticing what it’s like. We can’t do it by accident though. When we’re preoccupied by worry and idle thinking, we don’t even recognize that we’re having an experience.

I like this wine tasting metaphor of meditation and experiencing the world.

Also:

When people ask me why I meditate, I often say something about reducing stress and improving mood, because those are the simplest benefits to relate. It does those things, but it might not be clear how. You can think of meditation as time set aside just for tasting the present moment, just for seeing what’s actually being offered, putting aside other projects like planning or analyzing.

[…]

It’s the 21st century, and mindfulness has entered the pop culture mainstream. Even science, as slow and careful as it is, is continually giving us reasons to investigate it for ourselves, yet the most common reason given for not bothering with it is “I don’t have time.”

Meanwhile, we lose years to aimless, ephemeral thinking. The primary experience of the adult human being continues to be rumination, with real life happening in the background.

I have a Headspace subscription but I’m not meditating habitually at the moment. And yes, my reason for not doing it is because “I don’t have time”.

My main problem with meditation is that I can’t get over the feeling of perfection. When I meditate, I always start thinking about thinking, which is perfectly normal, but it makes me really frustrated sometimes.

Maybe I should write an email to Andy Puddicombe. He usually answers them and have something smart to say about things like that.

Now that I have Jekyll in place, I had to come up with a way to upload images to the server. Sometimes I still can’t wrap my head around how capable Shortcuts is. This workflow shortcut uses TinyJPG to compress, then Transmit to upload compressed images to the server.

Here’s a video about this process:

  1. I run the image through the CropSize app which optimizes it’s size and removes metadata.
  2. After this, I share the image to Shortcuts which compresses the image using TinyJPG, generates a unique name using MD5 on Unix epoch, then uploads the file to the server.
  3. At the and of this shortcut, I get a URL to the image, which I can paste into iA Writer (which I’m testing at the moment).

I switched over from WordPress to Jekyll.

It’s so much more portable and easier to work with (although I lost comments, but whatever…). I don’t have trackers or stats, I don’t even have JavaScript anymore.

How to Build a Low-tech Website?

Instead, we chose to apply an obsolete image compression technique called “dithering”. The number of colours in an image, combined with its file format and resolution, contributes to the size of an image. Thus, instead of using full-colour high-resolution images, we chose to convert all images to black and white, with four levels of grey in-between.

This is awesome. I really like the design and I just started to think, maybe I should build something similar for this blog.

I'm turning off crossposting my blog to Twitter via Micro.blog. It was a drag when I posted something here since I had to think about all the “others” who can't pull out their heads from a social network's ass. I don't want to think about that anymore.

Twitter is its own thing, it's weird when I post something on my blog, but I have to check reactions separately on a closed social network. At least I get a webmention from Micro.blog, but nothing from Twitter. Fuck that, my content is here and not over there. If my stats get lower, because of that, well fuck that too… I don't have stats turned on anyway.

The Web 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you how the web, one of our most important invention works in 2018.

I’ve wanted to read an article on Forbes… looks simple right? Well, no. It’s 2018, so when I use these so-called “news sites” I have to go through an IQ test first to access content.

  1. I’ve opened this article and received nothing. As an experienced user I know it must be because of my content blocker is activated in Safari. Forbes is full of so much shit that you just get an empty page with a content blocker turned on since it can’t process the level of shitness (is there a word like that?).
  2. I’ve long-tapped on the refresh button and tapped on “Reload without Content Blockers”. Because I’m an EU citizen I required to know how my ass being tracked. So, I’ve got one of these new fancy GDPR chooser thingies, where I have to set the level of ass tracking. I’ve chosen just required cookies. I’ve tapped Submit.
  3. Now I have this. It looks like a nice gift wrapped in paper. Maybe this is a package of those cookies that I always accept but never receive…

So let’s see where I am currently. I’ve learned that my content blocker and Forbes doesn’t like each other. My ass is being tracked, but just on the required level. I have a nice gift of cookies (maybe… I haven’t opened that thing, it can a bomb too, you know).

But I still can’t reach that fucking article about… ehm… what was it about?

Drafts just got a new version with WordPress integration, so I’m testing that. This feature finally clears out short status updates like this from my Ulysses library.

Web Design Museum

The museum exhibits over 900 carefully selected and sorted web sites that show web design trends between the years 1995 and 2005.

I’ve spent like an hour just clicking around. So many great examples of interesting ideas, annoying stuff, dead technologies (yes, Flash), and just memories. The web seemed so innocent back then.

Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use social media

Go ahead, read the whole article, but first I have to highlight this trend which is especially interesting:

Whereas 66% of this demographic agreed with the statement “social media is important to me” in 2016, only 57% make this claim in 2018. As young people increasingly reject social media, older generations increasingly embrace it: among the 45-plus age bracket, the proportion who value social media has increased from 23% to 28% in the past year, according to Ampere’s data.

I’ve seen this happening in my immediate environment as well in the last couple of years. Older people are getting on Facebook more and more, while younger ones are getting off. What’s more interesting is that older ones are started to behave a bit different: they’re seemingly more gossipy, as they’re following their friends’ everyday life more closely. Also, it’s sad to see how quickly some of them got hooked on stupid crap like fake news, politics, hoaxes and joined these type of groups.

I assume there is whole new world opened for some of them, but it seems like they have no idea about the negative privacy and mental implications of using social media (yet).

Meanwhile, I know people from the other side as well, those who refuse to use it. But their primary reason for skipping it is not valuing privacy, but time wasted mindless scrolling on Facebook.

Do not expect new Macs on September 12th, I’m sure it’s an iPhone only event.

Rumors also point to the introduction of new iPad Pros with smaller bezels, no home button, and Face ID, a revised Apple Watch with a larger display, and perhaps a new Mac mini and MacBook Air replacement.

Affinity Publisher free beta

I really like what Serif does lately. I made the switch from Sketch to Designer after they released it for iPad and it quickly became one of my favorite tools (next to Blink). Now there is a completely new Mac app as well for desktop publishing.

It’s very comforting to know that there are great alternatives to the behemoths that Adobe ships.

Day One 3 is out and I’m not going to use it anymore. Yesterday I exported all my stuff and deleted my account. Usually I’m fine paying for subscriptions, but in this case, I’m afraid of lock-in. There is precious stuff in my database and I don’t want to keep it on their servers.

I have a Day One to WordPress importer, which I created a couple of months ago, but I’m still not comfortable using it on a site that publicly available on the web regardless of having my Day One entries imported as private posts. What I’m going to do instead is set up an Ubuntu install in VMware, install WordPress on it, and run it locally. I’m not going to write there—I’ve consolidated all my text into Ulysses—but it’s a nice way to browse this archive sometimes. Maybe someday I’ll import everything into Ulysses as well, just have it at hand.

I’ve had separate RSS feeds before for statuses and posts. I’ve removed them and everything is collected under one feed now. Why did I do that?

  • It’s easier for me to post things since I don’t have to deal with categories and decide which feed get what.
  • I don’t post as many status updates as I expected, so no need to worry about filtering them out for specific groups.
  • My subscribers get everything. No skipped posts just because you subscribed to the wrong feed.
  • If you use a decent RSS service, you can filter stuff for yourself.

Aqua Screenshot Library

This is a truly awesome resource and collection of history from Stephen Hackett. He went through all macOS (or Mac OS X, or OS X) releases and made a library of screenshots about the system.

From his introduction post:

These images came from the OS, running on actual hardware; I didn’t use virtual machines at any point. I ran up to 10.2 on an original Power Mac G4, while a Mirror Drive Doors G4 took care of 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5. I used a 2010 Mac mini for Snow Leopard and Lion, then a couple different 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros to round out the rest.

Check it out if you interested in Macs and UI design in general.

I’ve installed Mastodon yesterday, although I’ve said that I’ll try to skip it. It is an interesting concept and has almost everything that can make it successful for a group of people. I just don’t want to invest my time in another social service.

It seemed like a cool idea for a couple of hours, then I was back in reality: I was using Twitter and Mastodon simultaneously. That’s a warning sign. I don’t want to use multiple social networks. I like to keep things simple and social networking doesn’t deserve that much attention.

I deleted my instance and I’m back to using Twitter as my only social network. I don’t like it, but there are more people on Twitter who write about things which interests me. Maybe Twitter is the first and the last social network I’ll ever use.