there’s this sweet and very popular spot in the city where people gather to relax on the grass while having a chat and a beer, or maybe just to listen to some music, which has the fantastic view of downtown in the background and the so called Painter Ladies, some victorian houses, in the foreground.

when i’m there, surrounded by hundreds of people, i wonder who lives in the Painted Ladies, and i feel sorry for them not beng able to live their lives without being observed without being able to open their windows and walk around freely. and then, i think that if i lived there myself, i’d put the toilet right by one of the windows, keep it open, and i’d take my shits there, relaxed, enjoying the view of hundreds of people see my happy face through the window.

it’s not that i find it especially exciting, but the though comes to my mind every single time.

In this city, people criticize the techies, people complain about the homeless, people make fun of the hipsters, people hate the landlords. The only group that is universally loved is the gay. Unless they are a gay techie, a gay homeless, a gay hipster or a gay landlord. I think it’s pretty reliable to conclude that it’s in people’s nature to hate/dislike/criticize. I do it too. It feels good sometimes!

today i cleaned my apartment. well, i cleaned my life.

i am a man of few possessions, i have not many material belongings. i own one piano, one desk, one computer on it, one pair of skis, one bicycle and one bed. the rest are all tiny things of enormous meaning, which fit in one box and which i consider non-material (for most practical discussions).

today i did one of those apartment cleanups where you get rid of stuff you no longer need. i donated to goodwill, to the public library, and also i simply throwing things away. when i moved here five years ago i realize my whole life fitted in a handful of boxes really. but today i realized i had way too many things. so i cleaned up my apartment.

and once i got rid of the stuff, i went though the tiny things of enormous meaning, carefully deciding in which shelf, album or box they’d go. i surely cried. of nostalgia, and sadness, and especially of happiness. how lucky i have been, and i still am. many of these memories are old, very old. some are very recent. and some are new, but feel old. i can’t still believe how much has happened to me in the last five years, which feel like fifteen really. i never though i’d go through that much. yet, after cleaning the apartment, in the intimacy of all the recollections and memories and thoughts, i was more certain than ever that i still am the same me that i have always been.

also, another thing that hasn’t change is that, it seems, my life still fits in twelve boxes. well, plus a piano i guess.

i’m sure you have heard, many times, of the classic proposition that somehow all books and stories already exist. according to that view, writing a book is the art of choosing the right combination of word, and creativity the skill of navigating that space of all possible stories stories successfully in order to find the interesting or relevant stories.

you probably have also stumbled across the debate of whether mathematics is actually discovered rather than invented, or in other words, whether mathematics is observational rather than experimental/inspirational.

in my opinion, the proposition that all books are written and the illusion that mathematics are discovered, are both wrong and fall victim to a common underlying phenomenon. i’d venture to assert that we humans are extremely good at taking knowledge, concepts and content, and feel equally comfortable working with it as with old one. also, it seems to me that as soon as we invent something new we immediately incorporate it to our repertoire of knowledge easily, effortlessly. and because of that ease, the line between the new and the old blur, and the action of creation passes almost unnoticed. if not forgotten. as if things had been there forever.

of course, the illusion of pre-existence is not only an easy one to fall for, but also an intellectually appealing one, or perhaps, a convenient one. a reality that we don’t create or invent, but we simply discover/find, is a static and finite reality. easier to understand, easier to digest. and depending on your psychological wiring, more satisfying.

but no matter how comforting it is to thing of pre-creation, or how naturally and harmoniously new ideas, stories, theorems or values sit with the rest of the pre-known, those things were not there until we created them. we are just incredibly plastic at absorbing, but not because of that should we forget how incredibly remarkable we are at creating as well.

what i am told: “sir, please, you _have to_ fasten your seat belt for landing”
what i think: “fuck you, you cannot tell me what to do, i’m an adult now!”
what i do: “click”

The couple of times I have gone for a massage, it has been no good.

Both times I got in, I gave my discount coupon, removed my shoes as instructed, and waited to in a beautifully decorated relaxed room with soft Thai music, some candles and a fountain. Then an attractive petite lady arrived and asked me on a childish voice to please follow her though a dark corridor into a room where I had to remove my clothes and wait for her laying down in the massage platform. So I removed my shirt, my pants, had that inevitable though of the happy ending that all men in this planet who don’t lie to themselves do have for a fraction of a second, got naturally over it, and laid down. Exhausted from the day, I was so happy to be in such a relaxing environment, so ready to get massaged, so ready to get that little sweet lady do magic on my body while listening to the soft peaceful music.

Then the woman arrived, and all I remember is cracking and smashing and punching and bending and breaking and pain, like an animal stomped all over me. By the time I left the room and I got offered a cup of tea. What the heck by that same petite woman in her childish voice, I didn’t feel like getting a cup of tea but like punching her in the face.

just to add more confusion to the subject, it seems that jesus was born the year 4 BC.

i never know who (or how many) i am writing for. but i keep writing regardless, and sometimes i meet great and brilliant and special people because of it.

when it comes to insults, i feel like i’m surrounded by amateurs. insulting is an art, and mediterranean cultures have a long tradition in arts.

when i distill the concepts of goodness and beauty to their very basics, after i remove all of the superficial (cultural) aspects that hide their true meaning, both look idemtical.

i should one day re-read Plato’s Dialogues again.

in their teenage, boys look at girls’ boobies. in their twenties, at their boobies and face. in their thirties, at their boobies, face and brain. in their forties, all they look at is their left hand’s second finger.

i was invited to attend this talk called “How to Build Habit-Forming Products”.

now, one thought: instead of winning consumers’ loyalty though the quality, merit or value of the product, it seems some companies prefer the fishy strategy of making them fall into the habit of using it. a concept that my mind classifies right next to “inducing addiction”.

i think we should build things that are useful, or pretty, or educational, or inspiring, or necessary, or in general, and leave the engineering, design and marketing effort that goes into making them habit forming aside.

anyway, of course i didn’t attend the talk.

when something inexplicable happens, if it is a good thing, it is called “miracle”.

now, how do you call it when it is a bad thing that you cannot explain? there’s no word for it, is there?

Prime Service: endless streaming of movies, larfest offer of books, instant shipping and guaranteed non-divisibility by anything except for 1 and the whole.

when it’s late at night you are in the bed, when she’s sleeping next to you but momentarily awakes, just a little, and she reaches out looking for your, you hold her hand, and you feel she falls asleep again, breathing deeper, tranquil, peaceful. that moment.

i find “impeccable” to be an ugly adjective. i believe you certainly should not pursue it. like “pure”.

company sponsored pretax commuter benefits, credit card cash rewards and flight miles, preferred customer cards…

you got them all. don’t you feel proud and satisfied, having everything in place, all those little gifts you were able to get only because you are indeed so tidy and efficient?

you saved $500 a year. well deserved indeed, you are so smart. doesn’t it feel good? good boy!

listen, we also have some 401k plans, a stock market, some investment plans, discounts for mortgages, tax refunds and other mechanisms for us to save our money. er… sorry, we mean, save your money. you might or might not understand the rules of this higher level game, but if you don’t, no worries, we still got more of those company sponsored pretax commuter benefits, credit card cash rewards and preferred customer cards for you to feel good, and smart. cause, aren’t you smart? yes you are. good boy!

our lives goals are not that sophisticated, yet life is complicated. there is a mismatch. which don’t care about as long as you are happy enough.

can you respect an artist for her/his work when you fundamentally disagree with his believes? say the art is fantastic, but the artist is intellectually an asshole.

it should be possible to respect the art but not the artist. shouldn’t it. yet…

today i used an abacus for the first time in my life. i didn’t take a photo with my phone cause i felt it was disrespectful to the poor thing.

people who go to work by car, then drive to the gym so they can walk and exercise.