All of vmsmith's Comments + Replies

Nice article.

I worked for a startup in Hampton Roads, VA a while back trying to develop a software program that could predict the location of empty containers so that truckers who delivered a full container more than just a few miles outside of the port areas could save time in locating an empty to bring back. It's been at least 5 - 6 years, and I don't remember all of the details, but I remember spending a lot of time involved with trying to understand this industry. 

One of the problems, as I recall, was the proprietary nature of some of the informat... (read more)

Glad to see that people are still reading Monnet.

I learned of Monnet through an obituary when he died in 1979. The obituary said that he kept a picture on his desk of Thor Hyderdahl's raft, the Kon Tiki.

The Kon Tiki had a sail and a rudder, but the key thing was a sea anchor that drifted well below the surface water and caught on to the east-to-west Humbolt current. Thus, no matter what was going on with the wind and the waves on the surface, the Kon Tiki was always being tugged slowly west by the Humbolt current.

And this -- according to the obituary -- wa... (read more)

In the late-80s I was interested in Buddhism and Vipassana meditation. I attended several 10-day silent mediation retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. These were all over New Year's. They were pretty profound, and after three of them (1987, 1988, 1989) I decided to do the three-month silent retreat, which ran every year from about mid-September through mid-December.

I was in the Navy at the time -- with 12 1/2 years already in -- but I got out and attended the three-month retreat in the autumn of 1990.

It was three months of most... (read more)

Hey VM, I'm seriously interested in what happened in your head back then. I'm trying to make sense of my own experience from last year's lockdown and this is the first time I read something that reminds me of it. Can I please ask you a few things before I share my own experience? 1.  Was your experience gradual? 2.  Did it have a clear culmination and then a stop, or did it pass away slowly? 3.  Were there any recurrent themes to your thought, or did they feel random? You can't even begin to imagine the waking heavens and hells that start unfolding inside your skull. At times I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. 4.  Do you remember anything you did to anchor your mind? (Something that helped the feeling of completely losing it) 5.  Did these intense feelings come and go? Was there a regularity to the pattern? But there is also an observer that can detach and not identify with what the mind is doing. 6.  Did this observer first appear in your mind after this experience? 7.  What did the fact that you discovered this observer mean for your idea of self? Was your past perception of self replaced by this observer? I'm sorry for the barrage of questions, but I'm very hopeful I can learn from your answers. It's already hard not to obscure the memory too much and sharing what happened to myself beforehand could make us somewhat match the experiences, that's why I'm holding back. I'll share my experience after (or if) you find some time to answer. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to hearing more!  

First, when I don't floss, my gums bleed when the hygienist starts working on my mouth. Indeed, if I don't floss for 10 days or so, my gums bleed when I start flossing again. There is absolutely no question that it's noticeable when I don't floss. Given that, I have to conclude that on some level flossing is "toughening" my gums. I view that as a good thing.

Second, I floss after I have brushed my teeth. But after I've brushed my teeth, and before I floss, I rinse. So I expect my mouth to be somewhat clear of food bit... (read more)

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In October, 1991 an event of such profound importance happened in my life that I wrote the date and time down on a yellow sticky. That yellow sticky has long been lost, but I remember it; it was Thursday, October 17th at 10:22 am. The event was that I had plugged a Hayes modem into my 286 computer and, with a copy of Procomm, logged on to the Internet for the first time. I knew that my life had changed forever.

At about that same time I wanted to upgrade my command line version of Word Perfect to their new GUI version. But the software was something cra... (read more)

Of ideation, prioritization, and implementation, I agree that prioritization is the most impactful, tractable, and neglected.
Please see my post below. My current big idea is very similar to yours. I believe we may be able to exchange notes!