Field Notes

A collection of ponderings, insights & principles deemed worthy of note by the author covering a multitude of different topics. New notes will be added on a continual basis.

A Campaign of Self-Improvement

ENTRY: 007

Statue of Atlas carrying the globe

The modern man who willfully seeks to improve his personal capability is burdened by a great campaign—and surrounded on all fronts. Firstly, a tremendous effort is continually demanded of him in matters of physical development and maintenance. In addition, our exemplar’s attention is called to matters of nutrition and the subsequent mandatory actions required to thrive here. On another flank, relationships and social demands demand his time and careful attention—much is needed of him here to be personally satisfied and favourable to his peers. But perhaps the greatest challenge of this campaign of his, is the attainment of knowledge. A frontier of boundless depth that rewards its conquerors with untold riches should they happen to capture and hold onto valuable axioms.

With only a finite amount of energy and a continual barrage of these intrinsic responsibilities that burden all living things—anyone willfully seeking self-improvement must be prepared for a lifetime of great struggle. But how can a man know if a campaign of this nature is progressing successfully? There is but one compass bearing that a person can truly depend upon—and it can be found by looking at yourself as you were yesterday and who you are right now. If you can look upon yourself today, knowing that you have truly improved upon your former self—then your path is true.

The Noble Patriot

ENTRY: 006

A profile of the Lexington Minuteman statue

  • It is a foolish act for a man to worship his country so blindly that one’s idolatry inspires a person to dismiss any infraction wholesale.
  • Doesn’t such partisanship turn a blind eye to the inevitable shortcomings of man’s imperfections?
  • Who truly believes their nation to be infallible? Incapable of corruption, impairment or ruin?
  • The greatest servants of the state are not those blindly worshipping flags and symbols—rather, the greatest servants support and protect the very principles that make her people strong.
  • Nations are the direct sum of the principles championed by the citizenry—not her colours and nor her titles.
  • Value principles, not symbols.

The Value of Words

ENTRY: 005

The Messenger God Hermes, holding a sword

  • If the words of man, were priced on an open stock exchange—whose words would be the most valuable? Whose words would be worth the least?
  • Some men, literally fill auditoriums of people who are paying to hear their words—while other men, can’t hold the attention of the dinner table.
  • The value of the words spoken by some are worth far less than the words spoken by others.
  • When some men speak—they lie, they mumble, they place little regard to the accuracy of their words, they lack consistency with previously uttered convictions, they’re too prideful in correcting errors, and they’re living out of harmony with their words.
  • Some men, place great importance on speaking truthfully and clearly—they pay careful attention towards the accuracy of their soundbites, they’re consistent with previously uttered convictions, they show humility when they’re proven to be wrong, and their words are harmonious with their deeds.
  • What is the present value of your word?

On Suffering

ENTRY: 004

The statue of Laocoön and His Sons

  • Suffering is inevitable, but its terms can be chosen.
  • Someone that always runs from suffering will be hopelessly consumed by it at some point.
  • “Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.”
  • Sacrifice now, on your own terms, so that when the terms are not yours to make, you are better prepared.
  • Be anti-fragile and suffer honourably.

The Sniffing Dog Problem

ENTRY: 003

A generic dog profile

  • I’m now aware of the fact that I am fully capable of comprehending a notion—while simultaneously not applying it towards my active understanding of reality.
  • The notion that triggered this revelation for me was: Dogs primarily ‘see’ the world with their noses. 
  • This notion is perfectly valid and has been well known to me for years.
  • However as a dog owner—I don’t even apply this knowledge to my active thinking.
  • I hardly ever think of the sensitivity my dog must be facing in particular environments with strong smells and how certain scents could be providing him with valuable information about his world.
  • I still treat my dog as if he was primarily seeing the world through his vision. I can easily hurry my dog along when he stops for a sniff on the street with little to no thought.
  • Conclusion: Unwittingly I disregard a concept that I genuinely comprehend. Therefore, I may be in possession of other notions that I ‘comprehend’—that I don’t actively apply towards my understanding of reality.

The Entrenched Position

ENTRY: 002

Two WWI soldiers wearing gas masks prepare to leave the trenches

  • A crucial precondition for people to be able to acknowledge fact-based evidence and reverse any held faulty beliefs so much depends on the degree to which a person has to undo commitments made to others.
  • For example: An individual without a declared ‘ideological team’ who currently subscribes to feminist political solutions would have far less difficulty considering a critical counterargument that potentially changes their viewpoint—than the head of a feminist organisation.
  • Change in individuals requires change within the groups they belong to.
  • Unless a person’s resistance and denial of facts result in severe, local consequences that allows them to change tack without losing face within their social groups—significant fallacy reversals are unlikely.
  • Be wary of the entrenched.
  • Be wary of groupthink.

The Haze of Memories

ENTRY: 001

A human brain

  • If a memory is hazy, own its uncertainty.
  • If we overlook the haziness of a particular memory and validate the present rendition with little regards to its validity, then we’re quite literally capable of rewriting our memories to depict a reality that never was.