I got several interesting – yet, perhaps, somewhat trivial – insights after reading Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke.
- Experiencing pain is necessary to live sustainably. Facing difficulties is paramount to finding a balance between pleasure and pain, which, in turn, allows to feel pleasure in its full capacity.
- Hedonistic behavior, avoiding pain and constant craving to receiving pleasure will eventually put you in a position when, quite ironically, nothing will be bringning pleasure anymore.
- Theoretically, it is possible that practicing full honesty would stimulate the part of brain responsible for decision-making, emotional regulation, planning of future and other vital processes.
Basically, my idea to sticking to some rules is aimed at stopping myself from impulsive generation of dopamine. Avoiding difficulties and hiding from pain has nothing to do with fighting the cause of the negative feelings.
There’re lots of people who claim that they stay out of politics, that politics is dirty and they have more important business than this nonsense of voting.
You can only be out of politics in two cases: if you live on a desert island or are not very good at logic. When you say that “I am staying out of politics”, it’s better to verbalize the whole truth saying honestly, “I do not care about my future and the future of my people, I voluntarily refuse to participate in the life of my country”. By refusing to participate in politics, you delegate your power to people who may turn out to be far less conscientious than yourself.
You cannot be out of politics because you use the infrastructure, pay taxes, get a pension, use public transport, post on Instagram and Facebook. All this is determined by the policies implemented by the government. Yes, posts on social media and communication in general also involve politics to some extent because it is the government that guarantees or at least should guarantee freedom of speech.
I also come across people who believe that “politics is a dirty business”. This is false. Politics itself is neutral. Policies implemented specifically by someone else can be “dirty”. If so, then the obvious question is if you believe that your government’s policies are nasty and dirty, why aren’t you taking any action to change it for the better? Inaction legitimises the current policies and all the crimes committed by the government. By ignoring the criminal policies, you yourself become an accomplice of the crime.
Loved the quote from the latest episode of the “Дикі мандри” podcast:
I know some people who are so poor they have nothing but money.
Turned out that the Ukrainian COVID-19 vaccination certificates generated via the Diia app are not working properly everywhere.
Here in Tallinn, my QR code was scanned five times, and it did’t work at two restaurants including McDonalds. The waitresses kind of saw the basic info about my vaccination but still their systems were indicating they were not allowed to let me stay in.
Looking forward to seeing whether it will work when I’ll be trying to embark on a ferry to Helsinki later today.
A quote from The Comfort Book by Matt Haig clearly articulating yet another reason of why I am pushing myself to write more:
... Nowadays, I sometimes write about what I want. The key to this is honesty. Be brutally, humiliatingly honest. I recommend this.
For instance, you could write “I want a six-pack.”
And seeing that wish on the page might automatically make you realize something about it. It might make you feel silly for having it. You might already be awakening another part of you that helps you diminish the craving. But either way, it is good to ask a single-word question after it. “Why?” Why do I want a six-pack? Then to be entirely honest in your answer. “I want to look good.” And again: “Why?” “For myself.” And then you might stare at that answer for a while and feel you weren’t being entirely honest. So you add: “To impress other people.” And then, like some incessant Socrates, ask it again: “Why?” “Because I want their approval.” “Why?” “Because I want to belong.” “Why?” And you can keep going, deeper and deeper, through the tunnel of whys, until you reach the light of realization. And the realization may be that wanting the six-pack wasn’t really about the six-pack. It wasn’t about your body. It wasn’t even about health or strength or fitness. It was about something else entirely. Something that wouldn’t be fundamentally addressed or solved by gaining the six-pack.
Writing, then, is a kind of seeing. A way to see your insecurities more clearly. A way to shine a light on doubts and dreams and realize what they are actually about. It can dissolve a whole puddle of worries in the bright light of truth.
My rating: 9/10
I’ve been thinking how to comment on this book for a week now. Can’t say anything other than when you’re finishing it, it’s hard not to cry.
I’ve just noticed that Telegram Instant View can help break through the New York Times paywall. So we can read gated articles for free.
Instant View is a cool feature built into Telegram that allows to natively access site content without leaving the Telegram app. For that, the site has to be indexed by Telegram so that the app knows how to navigate the site’s layout and show the core content to end users.
Perhaps there are some other obvious or better ways to access such content without paying for it, but this one seems to be pretty easy to execute.