A few things I’ve learned (and relearned) this year.

It was my birthday recentlyi and The Girl asked me a great question at our celebratory dinner: What have I learned this year?

Of course, anyone who’s ever learned anything – whether a craft or a new sports skillii – can tell you, learning isn’t just a box to tick! Certainly not anymore than finding a life partner is “ticking a box.” Both are in fact iterative processes that evolve continually as we do individually, and as the landscape around us changes. That being said, to bring it back, learning can for most intents and purposes be very productively be thought of as relearning,iii in much the same way and for many of the same reasons that discovery can productively be thought of as rediscovery.iv But we digress slightly. Today’s reflection takes us back over the past 12 months to itemize a few of the most important and note-worthy lessons learned (and relearned). Without further ado:

  • Pyramids at Giza are old. Very old. And very important.
  • The only thing new in the world is still the history we don’t know yet.v
  • It’s non-trivial to discern between the fashionable truths of one’s age and the eternal truths of all ages.
  • Curiousity is one of my greatest passions; one that I was as happy to pursue before I “made it” as I am now, and a virtue that I greatly prize in others, as much as I lament its almost unbelievable rarity.
  • We’ve done this before. The globalisation. The bio-engineering. The human flight. The communication networks. The industrial power. The sewers. The artificial lights. Maybe even the artificial intelligence. It’s all infinite recurrence.
  • Civilisation is not automatic – but perhaps nor is its decline?
  • Individual outcomes are 80% nature, 15% nurture,vi and 5% pure unadulterated luck. But in the “average is over” world, there’s a huuuuuge difference between 80th percentile and 100th.
  • Therefore, as ever, it is not our duty to complete the work, but neither are we free to desist from it.
  • The point of life is… life! Which means its continuity into the next generation. Just ask the birds and the bees! They’re not doom-scrolling, climbing corporate ladders, or chasing “experiences“. So why should we?
  • Tradition is acted first, and we ask why later.
  • Keep the physicals, burn the digitals?
  • Alcohol is underrated.vii
  • Most jobs are massively fake,viii busy-work, make-work endeavours, but are also the result of our incredible wealth.
  • Secularism is long-term self-limiting and isn’t to be solved by an individual, no matter how agentic.
  • Herds need to be culled to be their best. There’s no reason to be sad about that either.
  • Douglas Adams was probably right about Earth’s human origins.ix 
  • First Nationsx were probably right too, we do live on a turtle’s back.
  • For the rest of my life, I’ll probably be torn between seeing incompetence everywhere and believing that it goes all the way down, and believing that there’s secret cabals pulling levers somewhere.xi
  • Most “successful” North Americans are essentially trying to become millionaires so they can live like French peasants (with Veblen-filled Wunderkammers)xii
  • Proportionality matters! Skipping steps in life isn’t as satisfying as you think it’ll be.xiii
  • Power wraps itself in slogans and “isms” but we should not confuse the substance of struggle for its surface appearance.
  • Martyrdom is noble, virtuous, and societally useful.xiv
  • Good posture is underrated.xv

How about you? What did you learn (or relearn) this year?

  1. Solstice baby rh!
  2. If you’re learning golf, for example, an infamously difficult sport to master, post-competitive Tiger is a gift that keeps on giving and his videos come highly recommended! I should know, I used to be quite good:

  3. To quote the ancients:

    A master swordsman named Banzo was approached by a young man who wanted to become his student. ‘How long will it take me to become a master swordsman?’ the young man asked. Banzo replied, ‘If you study with me, it will take you ten years.’ The young man was impatient. ‘But I will work very hard. What if I practice every day, every night, with all my effort?’ Banzo thought for a moment and said, ‘In that case, it will take you thirty years.’

  4. Many such examples!

  5. If you’re tired of regular old mainstream “conspiracies” like the moon landing, JFK’s assassination, or Obama’s country of birth, I’d whole-heartedly recommend Manly P. Hall’s “The Secret Teachings of All Ages”, particularly the oversized Taschen edition.
  6. Nurture isn’t just parenting either, a good teacher makes all the difference!
  7. Most likely smoking too! In any event Gen Z prudes got it allllll wrong. Drinking and smoking are some of the best tools at our disposal for connecting with one another. “Therapy” doesn’t come remotely close. So grab a drink, it’s the drink of champions!

  8. Ahem


  9. In Life, the Universe and Everything, part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, the inhabitants of the planet Golgafrincham divided their society into three classes:
    1. The Thinkers and Leaders: The elite class who make decisions.
    2. The Doers: The workers who carry out tasks.
    3. The Middle Management: The seemingly superfluous professions like hairdressers, telephone sanitizers, and marketing executives.
    The leaders of Golgafrincham trick the third class into boarding a spaceship – the B Ark – by fabricating a story about an impending disaster that would make their planet uninhabitable. This was a clever way to rid the planet of people deemed unnecessary. The B Ark is sent on a one-way journey to another planet. The B Ark eventually crash-lands on prehistoric Earth, and its passengers end up repopulating the planet.
  10. eg. Iroquois, Anishinaabe, etc.
  11. Lizard Hitler!
  12. A “true” Wunderkammer doesn’t have “investments” composed of high-priced mass-produced manufactured goods. It has maps, globes, specimens, herbs, shells, taxidermy, fossils, rare books, jewels, models, and ancient or spiritual artifacts! In short, it’s weird af, which is really the whole point of being loaded imo! You get to be “eccentric”:
  13. Having your first Patek be a minute repeater, or your first Porsche be a Carrera GT sounds cool on paper, and maybe makes sense if you’re a Sheik, but if you’re a mere mortal of the merely-successful variety who’s perhaps just reattaining a station lost by his family 100 years ago, then going GT4 –> GT3 –> GT2 –> 918 over the course of a decade or two is a lot more educational, satisfying, and proportional. Every chapter in life has its place and its beauty, enjoy them all!
  14. Sacrifice is a meal best served bloody. And there’s no success without sacrifice!
  15. In 500 years we’ll probably look back at Bryan Johnson and remember him in the same breath as Count Dracula. No doubt they’ve both “discovered” many of the same eternal truths!

One thought on “A few things I’ve learned (and relearned) this year.

  1. […] my relatively modest level of skill (and frankly competitiveness, at least in this chapter of my life), shaving off multiple seconds is still quite realistic. I did it on several occasions in the R35! […]

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