✅ How can you help?

I decided to devote myself to helping other people for three months - doing graphic design and illustration for anyone who needed it, no expectation of return.
It was the most fun I've ever had working for other people, and it ended up being very profitable because people wanted to hire me after I did free work for them.
Think about that.

🐁 Game and marketing rambling

How do we make video games that serve our audience?
How do we turn marketing into sharing, excitement?
How do we think about business differently? Self-interest isn't a good motivator, and doesn't even work that well. But pure altruism isn't possible, and attempted pure altruism doesn't work at all.
Maybe work for someone else?
Why do we share what we love with other people? It's a risk, we might be wrong. Why do we share anyway? Because it could improve their lives, and that's intensely gratifying.
Could my work improve their lives? Of course.
Do I believe it?

✂️ Take the long cut

Short cuts are for people who know what they're doing, short cuts are for people who have figured out how to save time without sacrificing quality.
If you're still an amateur, take the long cut. Do things the hard way. Don't worry about efficiency, don't worry about saving time, don't worry about the new tool that will cut down on your workflow.
Just do things the right way. Focus on craft. The work.
Don't take a short cut. Take a long cut.

🎈 Enthusiasm

has to be directed, constrained, put on a leash. It's a balloon that needs a string to stick around. If you don't make conscious choices about what you're going to pursue, (and, more importantly, what you're NOT going to pursue), the lack of constraining pressure will turn your pursuits from a meaningful something into a nothing. Spread too thin, your enthusiasm will explode into everything and nothing at once, exhausting you and accomplishing nothing. You'll have ruined your balloon, and have nothing to show for it.

🦖 A man named Tyrannosaurus Rex, and why interesting things happen to me.

I once met a guy named Tyrannosaurus Rex.
To be precise, I testified against a fellow named Tyrannosaurus Rex. He had trouble with boundaries and I was helping a co-worker get a restraining order. He defended himself, testifying like a trial lawyer, and was arrested and processed halfway through the hearing.
It's a story that sounds too strange to be true, and I love sharing the experience. Once I told the story of my run-in with T-Rex with a relation of mine, and he shook his head and wondered aloud why interesting things didn't happen to him.
This got me wondering: why do interesting things happen to me?
My final answer turns out to be: intense boredom.

  1. Boredom makes me become friends with everyone.
    I'm an extrovert, and I get bored easily. I ask lots of questions, try to understand people, give them unsolicited advice. People are always, always fascinating, if you dig deep enough. I was good friends with the lady who was seeking the restraining order, so she asked me to testify instead of another co-worker.

  2. Boredom gives me the gift of noticing.
    When I'm bored, I start noticing everything. This is not so good when I'm driving, but it helps me see the world in a higher resolution than other people, because I'm constantly looking for something, anything to engage my mind. I had long been watching (and wondering at) T-Rex's behavior, so I had a testimony when the time came.

  3. Boredom encourages me to be impulsive.
    Boredom is miserable. Painful. I hate it, so I'll tend to grab at whatever promises to alleviate the pain. This isn't a tendency that I should indulge, but when it comes to seizing opportunities that pass bye quickly, I tend to seize first and ask questions later. My default answer is "Yes, sounds fun!". This does get me in trouble from time to time, but it usually makes things interesting.

So, that's my best answer right now. I get bored, and seek out interesting things. The price I pay for the art I create, the situations I get into, and the work that I do is painful boredom for 85% of my waking hours.

Worth it?

🧐 But what if you're wrong?

I know you're not wrong about anything, but just for the sake of argument:
What if you were?

What are you most likely wrong about?

If you actually are wrong about it, what might happen?

Maybe you should make some plans around your faulty assumptions, biases, and blind spots.

(And pay attention to near-misses. When you narrowly avoid something horrible, learn something. Make changes accordingly.)

⛰ Responsibility and Randy Weaver

Who was responsible for what happened to Randy Weaver's family? The overreacting government? The FBI for setting him up? The U.S. Martials who killed his 14-year-old son? Randy, for spending time with neo-Nazis, for hoarding guns, for not showing up in court? The media, for blowing it out of proportion? Randy's wife, for not curbing her paranoid tendencies? The snipers who killed her?

Who was responsible for the catastrophe?

Who wasn't?

Maybe you're making small, seemingly benign choices that are setting up your family up for suffering and tragedy. Maybe you're willfully blind, or not as morally upright as you could be, maybe you indulge your worst, most extreme tendencies. 

Maybe you're making compromises, maybe you're scared, maybe you're incompetent, maybe you'll find yourself shooting an unarmed woman in the head, or harming or killing someone because you're negligent. 

Randy Weaver didn't know he was Randy Weaver.

There are a lot of people who are going down paths with tragic, avoidable endings. Maybe you're one of them.

🍏 Pruning

Sometimes life is about pruning.

Mourning what could be, chopping off branching paths that you could have followed, killing potential selves.

To commit to something means adjusting your understanding of your potential: you have to crush and constrain who you might be. If you want to be this, you can't be that.

You could try to keep your options open, try to hold on to your adolescent potential, try to always keep your options open - but you end up stunted and under-grown. You're Peter Pan, eternally stuck in boyhood, puer aeternus, the eternal child. 

The eternal child can be fun, winsome, entertaining. The eternal child doesn't ever have to prune their lives, make adult choices, cut themselves off from potential.

But like unpruned apple trees, their life eventually collapses under the weight of their untrimmed branches, and the fruit they produce is small and bitter.

🍯 Spreading yourself too thin

is a habit. If you find yourself always busy, always at your wit's end, never able to devote the time or resources to do anything properly, you've probably acquired the habit of taking on too many projects. 

When you take on too much, no one can blame you when you fail, no one can blame you when you don't create quality work. You were busy. No one can blame you.

It's better to spread yourself thick. Quit something. Quit something again. Take the time to really do things right, even if you do fewer things, even if it means you don't have plausible deniability. 

😱 At their worst

At their worst, conservatives seek to return to a past that never was, and progressives seek to advance to a future that will never be.

At their worst, conservatives fantasize about the glory days of their race, their country, and progressives dream about the impossible utopia where everything is completely fair and all the good people are completely happy.

At their worst, conservatives say "I have rights! I do what I want! You can't tell me what to do!", and progressives say "You don't know the right thing to do, we will dictate how to act."

At their worst, conservatives send death threats and hang nooses outside your home, and progressives destroy you, cancel your humanity, make you an unperson.

At their worst, conservatives grasp for the power to enforce their will on the world, as do progressives.

- - -

At their best, conservatives see the miracle of a world that works well most of the time, and they don't want to destroy it through rash decisions. They take deep responsibility for their actions, saying "What must I do?" not "You can't make me!".

At their best, progressives fight compassionately for those who are hurting, broken, sick, and poor. They work and starve for those who stack up at the bottom. They don't let identity get in the way of compassion.

At their best, conservatives hold on to the baby, progressives change the bathwater.

💩 Some upsides of staying when times are tough

People respect you. They ask for your help when they're in crisis mode. They ask your advice.

If you run and avoid when things are difficult, you'll be happier short-term.
Keep running, and you'll be a disappointing 40-year-old. Keep running and you'll be a sad 50-year-old. Keep running and you'll be a pathetic 60-year-old.

It's better to stick. If you stick, other people will respect you for it. You'll respect yourself for it. That counts for a lot more than you think.

🏃 Pushing yourself

Pursuit, pushing yourself, engaging voluntarily with stress, regularly doing that which you are hesitant to do: these things might be the most important actions. They might be what keep you sane, what keep you healthy, what keep you alive.

If you don't regularly challenge yourself, life will challenge you. If you won't control yourself, you'll find someone to rule over you.
If you won't take responsibility, eventually your freedom will be taken from you - eventually someone will force you to take responsibility against your will.
That's how you lose your freedom - by not being worthy of it.