I’m Flattered

I’m now such an “internationally recognized expert” (direct quote) that I’m being invited to Germany to speak at a symposium, all expenses paid.

This is a big deal because until now, I’ve never been invited anywhere, especially by people I don’t know. I normally have to apply, wait to be accepted, and then wrangle with Ruby in Accounting over reimbursement of my expenses.

I mean, I’ve been invited by friends but it’s not the same thing. This time, though, I’m actually being invited by complete strangers who clearly have read my work. This is obviously very flattering. And it’s also very funny that Germans want to pay to bring over a Ukrainian from the American Midwest to talk to them about the crisis in Spain that they kind of caused. And Americans caused. The only ones who are clearly innocent are Ukrainians.

Hey, is anybody here going to be in Bavaria in October? And should I nip into Prague while I’m there? Because it’s super close, and I’ve never been.


More Productivity

In reality, productivity is all about a fight against compensatory behaviors. A reduction in compensatory behaviors increases anxiety. People try to lower anxiety with things like biohacking or OCD-type behaviors like making lists.

The only thing that would really help here is to reduce the need for compensatory behaviors by removing whatever it is one is compensating for. This is the direction where real productivity lies.

In the meantime, a good matress and a system of to-do lists are a good band-aid.


Interesting suggestions about productivity:

I’ve learned that I can’t be very productive working on things I don’t care about or don’t like. So I just try not to put myself in a position where I have to do them (by delegating, avoiding, or something else). Stuff that you don’t like is a painful drag on morale and momentum.

This is very true. We are always extremely productive on things we enjoy doing. In academia, this is particularly pertinent advice. People often choose the research topics they think they should be working on instead of the stuff they really care about and end up dragging their feet on publishing anything.

And more:

I sometimes go through periods of a week or two where I just have no motivation to do anything (I suspect it may have something to do with nutrition). This sucks and always seems to happen at inconvenient times. I have not figured out what to do about it besides wait for the fog to lift, and to trust that eventually it always does.

I know exactly what he’s talking about. To me it’s not about nutrition but, rather, an indication that I need a break. A break means reading a lot of junk books and watching tons of junk TV.

More Identity

Nothing teaches them, nothing. That somebody can seriously write this sort of thing in 2018 is truly insane:

We are in the midst of an intense partisan and ideological battle over culture and identity; the Democrats aren’t backing down or moving to the center on these issues; and politicians who want to lead in either party will probably have to take strong, clear stances on matters of gender and race.

Identity has lost them every election since forever, yet they want more of it. They’ve been taking stances on absolutely nothing whatsoever but gender and race. The strong, clear stance they take is that neither is real yet both define everything because of evil racists and sexists. And because choice is sacred for everybody but evil sexists and racists. This form of pouty consumerism is not attracting voters, yet the idiots keep promoting it with fanatical dedication.