Jeff B


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Jeff B72

Thanks, that was really helpful. I've been having those same thoughts about alcohol for quite a while. It's never been a big dangerous problem, but it's a mild drag on me mentally, physically, and emotionally that I'd like to get rid of.

The typical AA framing turns me off: pseudo religious, complete helplessness, etc. The ideas from you and your friends are a much better fit for me. Some of those tips sound useful, like having a drink in my hand so friends don't feel the need to offer me one.

Jeff B240

As a kid I was often frustrated by adult inconsistency and unfairness. I’m glad to see a parent trying to treat kids with respect. The sticky candy example sounds like hassle for the parent, but it sends good messages to the kid.

Jeff B20

“Of things you care about” is a good way to pose the question. I avoid general news sources like the 6pm TV news, newspapers, and web news aggregators. Most of that seems to be about short term political maneuvers or disaster porn, which I don’t care about. Occasionally a friend mentions an event that interests me and then I catch up with a quick web search.

I follow podcasts, RSS feeds, and YouTube channels for topics I care about like science, economics, and general fun like LessWrong.

Jeff B70

I’m a fan of some of the “helpful” authors like Iain Banks. Which Taylor are you referring to? The Strugatsky brothers are new to me. Which of their books do you recommend?

Fiction can be consumed in an unhealthy way, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. The same is true of news, cookies, and drugs. I’ve mostly kicked news, but I still enjoy occasional morsels of the others. I gotta have some fun.

Jeff B20

You seem to be leaning toward honesty and I agree. I hired about 50 people over 20 years. The posers couldn’t hide their real skill level for long and made themselves and coworkers miserable until we let them go. There were cases where we nurtured an honest person to a higher skill level. If you lie about your skills then you’re not going to get that nurturing, so good luck improving on your own.

For sure don’t send unimpressive signals or be negative. Just show what you have and be friendly. As the author pointed out, the other party is saving you time and hassle if they reject you.

If you lived in a world full of lying then maybe it would make sense to participate, but in my experience there are plenty of good employers and mates who can detect honesty and appreciate it. You are better off working for and dating those ones.

Jeff B40

Consider getting the iPhone but change the way you use it. A friend and I are much happier since we made our phones silent. Do not disturb mode, no notifications, etc. All those services you mentioned (Uber, etc) are great and you should still have access to them.

I check my phone when I finish a task and need a break. That is usually many times per day. So I do notice important things like calls and texts and I return them, but when it is convenient for me. Your friends will understand occasional delays, just as they did during the last 10 days. It took practice to get out of the addictive phone checking habit, but the same was true of not eating cookies all day. You can do it!

Answer by Jeff B60

You’re on a healthy path. I’m much happier since I stopped reading the news. When I’m in the mood to read and learn, I use an RSS reader (Feedly) to read LessWrong, Marginal Revolution, Quanta magazine, Colossal (art articles), Our World in Data, and non-political blogs.

If you’re taking a break from computer work then leave the screens. Take a walk in the sunshine. Do something with your hands: origami, knitting, Legos. Take a nap.

Jeff B30

Age 25 was the big transition. Before then I focused on school and work, which kept me indoors and busy. Then I quit grad school and became more social, exercised, and lost weight. I quickly became much happier. In later years I slowly learned the importance of hobbies that use my hands or get me out of the house: cooking, gardening, biking, travel, fossil hunting, photography. I'm 53 now. Still looking for ways to have fun, but the list in this article covers the big ones.

Jeff B40

I like this advice to not analyze the source of discomfort. Just focus on activities that are fun, healthy, or distracting. That list of mentally healthy activities is very close to mine. I wish I’d figured it out long ago, but better late than never.

Related to physical activity outdoors, I’ll add that great weather is rejuvenating. When a beautiful day comes along, go to great effort to be out in it.

Jeff B30

After many years I came to the same conclusion as you. Kindness and reliability are the most important traits. Intelligence is a nice bonus, but not mandatory. Just ignore the misguided ideas and don’t try to change them. Avoid angry people.

The type 123 definitions would be more helpful at the top of article.

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