-1. I am a world champion breather.
0. I’ve breathed for literally thousands of seconds without pausing, and I have no plans to stop. I’m breathing as I talk to you and it’s not even hard. You can’t rest on your laurels in this breathing game, or someone else will breathe for even more seconds and win. What do they win? Irrelevant. I’ll never need to know.
1. I know a man who interviewed Leni Riefenstahl near the end of her life. As he shook her hand goodbye, a thought curved into his mind like a talon: I’m touching a hand that once touched Hitler’s.
2. The distance between himself and World War II seemed to collapse before that thought. The Fuhrer himself might have been sitting on the other side of the coffee table, gripping his hand. This is the power of writing: it shrinks miles and years, forcing you to contemplate the alien and unthinkable. That is to say, I hope to hold your hand.
3. My life is a constant search for knowledge (and power) in weird places. I enjoy old books, videogames that require emulation to work, Youtube videos with seventeen views, and forgotten truths. Nobody censors the truth: they let it become covered in dust and ignored in plain sight. Somewhere in public landfill is a three-inch block of metal worth $127 million dollars. I don’t always tear open unlabelled boxes and envelopes, but I always want to.
4. I’m politically conservative, because there are infinite ways to ruin society and only a few ways not to. We should implement progressive ideas but only after pounding them thousands of times into a brick wall to see if they break.
5. There are only two reasons to do anything: you’re interested in them, or they’re interested in you. Things that fall into one or both classes for me include cats, web design, audio production, aesthetics, Unix system administration, prose, genetics, bodybuilding, retro PC games, animated films, heavy metal, and the animated film Heavy Metal.
6. The Porsolt test measures how long a rat swims when dropped in a beaker of water. Rats on antidepressants such as Prozac swim longer. Don’t make yourself too comfortable. Not when you’re slowly drowning in a beaker of water.
7. Nobody, in the end, ignores carrots and sticks. If a person’s actions don’t make sense, think about the consequences, and infer motives from that.
8. I believe in the Great Man theory of history, but with the caveat that there are few Great Men. History is both chaotic and impermeable to change; like a bubbling froth where each bubble is made of anodized steel. None of us know where we’re going and very few us can change it, except in some meaningless way. Suppose you suddenly woke up on 10th of September. Could you say or do anything to stop the disaster about to occur? Would the Federal Aviation Administration listen to a crazy person shrieking about hijackers and box cutters? Few men exercise actual power over society: the ones that do normally leave ashes in their wake.
9. These are some of my thoughts. I have others.