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“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club Living in a social media crazed world, where everybody can be anybody they want, look great without being actually great and everything seemed awesome; it is easy to feel entitled. This feeling of entitlement can come in two forms: I am super awesome and the world sucked. (The World is such a woe) I sucked and the rest of the world is awesome. (Woe is me) However, these two forms of entitlement is counterproductive if you are planning to live the good life. It is even arguable that entitlement is the source of most human sufferings. What then should we do with these feelings of entitlement that we have? Modern philosophers like Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell and Mark Manson have shared many tips to help…

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”- Kenji Miyazawa In my previous post I have established that to live is to suffer and that the best way to overcome the feeling of pain that comes with suffering is to accept it as it is. Once you have accepted this truth, the next thing you need to do is to choose the suffering you want. Life problems never stopped, they are only upgraded or exchanged, so the question you need to ask yourself is “what kind of suffering do I want?” This question will not only help you clarify what you want in life, but also open your eyes to the cost of getting what you want. It is easy to say what we want out of life, I want X, achieve Y or be Z. However, those hopes usually don’t translate into anything because when…

“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” – Denis Waitley Since the dawn of time, religious people, philosophers, scientists and artists have been pondering what happiness is. However, they all failed to find a satisfactory answer, because what makes one person happy doesn’t make another happy. Happiness is subjective.  Some people never even bothered to ask that question. Instead, they believed that life is one never ending hoarding game. They thought that achieving X, owning Y or being surrounded by Z will make them happy. However the happiness they felt is fleeting; modern research has shown that achieving something doesn’t make a person happier but actually sadder. (I will not go into detail, but you can read it yourself in the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert) This was because as Mark Manson powerfully wrote in his…

“The acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience! “The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience”- Mark Manson Look around you and you will find that a world is a shitty place to live. Scan the news and you will see that people around the world are suffering- wars, terrorism, injustice, racism, jealousy, hatred, murder. But one doesn’t need to look very far, look at your own life and you will see that your life too, is full of suffering. Although the cause of suffering can’t be pinpointed (bad karma, God, one’s actions or decisions), one thing is certain: suffering is inevitable, no matter who you are, whatever choice you make, you will suffer. Like the Buddha said, to live is to suffer. So if suffering is inevitable, what then…

“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” —Ginni Rometty In my previous post, I have briefly described the various advancement in AI technologies that have been happening the past few years and its potential implications on our future. Those advancement showed that AI technologies can potentially be so much better at pattern recognition, data collection and decision making than humans. However, don’t despair just yet. Many technology experts still believe that there are three areas that AIs still having trouble mastering: idea creation, large frame pattern recognition and complex communication. Let’s dissect those three skills further. Idea creation: In their book the Second Machine Age, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson said, “Ideation in its many forms is an area today where humans have a comparative advantage over machines. Scientists come up…

People are spending way too much time thinking about climate change, way too little thinking about AI.- Peter Thiel In my previous post, I described the problem with humanism and posed some questions that many technology experts around the world have been asking: What will happen once super machines became smarter than (faulty) human beings? What will the future looks like for human beings? Is there any hope for humans? This might sound new to many Indonesian; for we live in a developing country where technological developments are barely happening. However, just because technological advancements are not happening in our country, doesn’t mean it’s not important to us. Technological developments as I will explain later, will have global repercussions and will hit developing countries the hardest. Thus, let’s start by noting three significant AI breakthroughs that will have tremendous impacts on humanity.’s future AI defeating the best GO Player- GO…

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”- Christina Baldwin Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group has a very fascinating habit. After making important business decision, he would open up his journal and write the reason behind the decision he just made. According to his biography, this exercise will help him reflect the ‘whys’ behind his every decision. It turns out that he was not alone in this. People like Emma Watson, Mark Twain, Lady Gaga, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie and the great emperor Marcus Aurelius have kept some sort of journal to evaluate their life decisions, day and values. According to the stoics,  journaling is one of the fastest way to improve oneself. Journaling can give you awareness to your inner thoughts and feelings; remind you to what matters most and help you measure your life’s progress. So starting a journaling habit is probably one of the best…

“If you wish to have a leisure for your mind either be a poor man or resemble a poor man. Study cannot be helpful unless you take pains to live simply…” – Seneca In an age where religion was viewed with deep skepticism,  people delve deeper and deeper in to individualism and consumerism has become a way of life, many people have made the pursuit of pleasure as their purpose of life.  However, the pursuit of pleasure according to most Stoics, is a very dangerous thing. Seneca argued that pursuing pleasure is like pursuing a wild beast. On being captured, it can turn on us and tear us to pieces. He then elaborated that this was so because the more pleasures a man captures, the more masters will he have to serve. Thus, the stoics were very adamant about keeping their pleasure level in check. They used the following two…

“Death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured. Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.”- Mark Manson Living in a modern world, far from dangerous animals, wars and threatening diseases, it’s easy to think that we’ll live for a very long time. It is no surprise then that many modern human squander their time on empty pleasures and meaningless stuffs; like a son of a rich businessman squandering his parents’ money on a 3 days trip to Las Vegas. A life of safety creates an illusion of immortality, and this is a very dangerous belief to adopt. Here’s why… Although modern medicine have increased human’s average life expectancy to 79.3 years, average human will spend 7.8 hours/day sleeping, 1.8 hours/ day on household chores and 1 hour/day on eating and drinking. While our life expectancy…

“My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not in the future, not in the past, not for all eternity. Not only to endure what is necessary, still less to conceal it – all idealism is falseness in the face of necessity -, but to love it…” ― Friedrich Nietzsche In life you will go through three kinds of situation: Things that you have full control over, which in this case, you need to take the most effective action to reach your goal. Things that you have partial control, which in this case, the best course of action is to internalize the goals (focusing on what you can control). And things that you have no control over, which we will discuss fully today. Most people don’t find it hard to deal with the first two situations, but when we are talking about the…