Breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day, and your personal border wall

Filter less and produce more. That is what I am repeating to myself as I embark on this “journey.” By journey, I simply mean another essay. I have written ~many of these over the past few months (and literally thousands over the past few years).

Some times it feels a bit like writing into a void. A void that no one besides me will really care to ever venture into. Other times, though, it feels like I am rescuing lost thoughts. Thoughts that, if I did not GET THEM OUT, would be stuck scrambled in my brain. In some ways, writing is like serving as a medical institution. Saving my brain from having to deal with loose thoughts that NEED to be organized but before being organized they need to be expressed.

So as I venture into the unknown today, I start with a simple idea and have optimism that it will take me into something meaty. Something that will feel nice to get out. What is interesting to me is that I do not yet know what that thing is. I mean today, out of all prompts, is one of the more random feeling ones. At least by nature.

The thought I had this morning was not a thought I have meditated on an extreme amount in the past. It was a thought hat came to me quite randomly and now I am talking a random walk down my brain.

That thought…ready for it…is that Breakfast was a marketing scam paid for by Big Milk.

I do not consider myself to be conspiracy theorist. I guess perhaps who really does. I probably sound like a theorist saying that I am not one. Is there a word for that sort of situation? But truly, I do not really find it all that fascinating to dive down the rabbit holes of reddit and tape together evidence of things that I just do not care whether or not they actually existed. I mean sure it is interesting to me that the US government lied to the public about the idea that FDR while President could/couldn’t walk. And it turns out that about a year later some conspiracy theorists out there — perhaps your crazy uncle at the dinner table — was actually right. It could lead you down to thinking that woah the government is lying to us. Us, the people! The people who voted for and built this country. America! Right? Right???!

What I do not like about conspiracy theories is that they tend to have two parts: 1) evidence and 2) emotions. It feels like the latter sometimes starts to drive and even skew the former. Conspiracy theorists do not often present themselves in such a way that they appear to be TRUTH SEEKERS above all else. They often feel like they are missing a god to believe in. Like they have an empty hole in their heart and they want some pURPOSE to fill it. So they find a conspiracy that feels sufficiently meaningful. I mean I don’t know how big foot is super meaningful but perhaps again the evidence and content is not the point. The emotions are the point. The idea that people are lying to us is the point. People being the government. Why do you trust people in the first place? Well because I was told to. Well why do you listen to peope? uhhhhh. Look within is probably where you end up and so my thinking around any conspiracy is yes you can look towards the evidence but I actually tend to start with the people behind the conspiracy. What are their incentives? If I cared more, I would really want to know how they were raised? Who was their first boyfriend/girlfriend? What did they learn from that? Where are the holes in their heart? Some thing I think about and have written about at times is how people’s work is often a manifestation of themselves. I mean, I wish this were more the case. I think Silicon valley / modern workplaces have basically put a prohibition on bEING YOURSELF and tried to kill ego. In killing ego, they killed the artform that is craft and expressing yourself. But this is kinda besides the direction I wanted to take this thinking. What I wanted to say was that you could learn a LOT more about a person if you consider the frame to which they exist in the world (rather than only looking at their outputs). You can consider their outputs to be an extension of themselves in some capacity. This is not always an intentional exercise—often times people bleed their emotions that they are not even aware really exist and occupy a large piece of mindshare in their heads.

So anyways, conspiracies. Well I do not have a long secret list of all the conspiracies I believe in. I do not follow any forums of sorts on the topic. But a funny/interesting one that dawned on me the other day was the notion that growing up, I was told that “breakfast was the most important meal of the day.” Yet now, as an adult, I do not eat breakfast at all.

This got me thinking…

What the actual fuck?

Like why did I grow up my entire life thinking breakfast was important. It was unhealthy to not eat breakfast. Further more, it was critical that I did eat breakfast. I could not be healthy without it! Or so I thought. Or so I was told. When I eat breakfast nowadays I literally feel worse. I mean I will do it every once in a while but not really very often.

And got milk?! Do not get me started. Well I will start on my own. How the heck were we hypnotized into believing that starting your day with a glass of milk was healthy and important? Who told people that? Nowadays when I drink milk I literally get stomach aches.

So my question and where my head is left spinning is trying to apply this to other things in my life today. Like where am I just absolutely completely wrong? I mean surely there are places where this exists. But I imagine, and this is my head spinning, that most of that comes in places where I AM RELYING ON INFLUENCE that is confused to be first principled thinking.

What I mean to say is that I imagine there were ideologies – a la golden rule – that were ingrained in me as a kid that I now confuse in memory as FACTS AND LAWS OF LIFE that are, in reality, merely a product of culture and context and how I happened to grow up. I grew up thinking that you drive on the right side of the road. Does that make it a law of nature that the only way to drive is on the right side of the road? Would society function if for example we drove on the left side of the road? Well we know the answer to this because in many countries they do drive on the left side of the road. This is an example of the type of thought that was cemented into my brain that only after learning it was possible to actually break the mold – the mold that was placed on me without my consent if I am being honest – when I was too young to fight back. Fight back honestly sounds aggressive but in reality all that I am advocating for is my thinking for myself. And the irony here is that I am advocating to no one. I need no permission. I am advocating for myself TO MYSELF. It is funny how that works. Because in reality, if I were to dig deeper into this thread, I would find that I am actually fighting back against the INFLUENCE THAT OWNS REAL ESTATE IN MY HEAD.

The influence has taken a camouflage like experience. It knows that I am coming. It knows that I am coming to clean up a la NYC in the early 2000s. It knows that influence has no place in my head without paying rent. Because all beliefs—and I got this from a lesswrong article—owe rent. No one is exempt from paying rent, even naturally ocurring thoughts.

It is funny/interesting to think of your brain a bit like a country. With citizens who were born there—perhaps your own thoughts—and immigrants who came legally/illegally. What if you started to create a border patrol of sorts for your brain. It is insane to me that you can just advertise to people today—that is basically sending a ton of illegal immigrants into your brain. Most all of us have pretty porous border walls. What that translates to is we get easily influenced and/or ideas get to just take real estate into our brains pretty quickly basically whenever they want without much resistance. Some of these ideas applied for a visa, we entertained them, and then we have the right to kick them out. They no longer serve their purpose in the brain society. So they should leave. They of course will not want to leave. They like occupying their land. But you may want them to leave. So you need to take the leap of faith, which is often scary, to actually kick them out. Yes, your brain is a nation and you need to be aware of what ideas you are allowing to occupying land in your nation. You need to take care of your citizens. Some members get old and need more support. They get weak. You need to care for them. Self-care some people call this. You also need to eliminate the demons – the bad people who are occupying land and causing havoc. This is the process of guarding your brain-nation-state. If we all thought about this more consciously and intentionally, we would have very different brain states. We would be more aware of what we are allowing to disrupt our flows. And society would look a whole lot different.

Fore example, how in the world is it possible that we just allow anyone in the planet to send us an email? Like that is insane? They can just disrupt our workflow. They cost us money. I value my time. Pick a number. $1000 a minute or whatever you appreciate your life as. And some spammer in some random place can send me an email that disrupts my workflow. Even worse, we have convinced ourselves that the optimal thing to do is carry around a device—we currently call it a phone—all the time. A phone that anyone can call without our permission and interrupt OUR WORKFLOW. And take us out of the beauty that is presence. Some random person can do that. And does do that. And we are fine with that!?! People attacking the safety of YOUR BRAIN NATION STATE and we just keep the device held next to our heads all the time. And that is just fine?! That is evolution? That is the better society? Is that not idiotic/insane?

Being aware of the border. The border between THE IDEAS YOU ALLOW TO OWN REAL ESTATE IN YOUR HEAD and the IDEAS YOU KICK TO THE CURB AND TELL TO GO FIND SOME OTHER BS PLACE TO OCCUPY. That border is something a lot of people, at least my observation is, do not keep a good eye on. Perhaps a first step, before even fortifying the border walls, though, is to examine your current world views. Examine your current ideas. Examine the things living in the crevices of your brain. Some influence you directly and some are more subconscious. Where are they immigrants? Do they have a Visa? How long should they be able to stay? Why? do you have a reason for each of them? How much do you want them there?

It is time to go on a cleaning mission. Nothing should be able to cause you harm without paying rent. There is no reason to entertain literally anything that you are not opting into allowing you to cause harm. Not even breakfast. You should not feel bad about not eating breakfast. Even though it was an ideology that was drilled into you by whoever (perhaps big milk paid off cereal to make cereal a cool thing that was to be eaten with milk every morning), and then re-drilled into you by commercials you were forced to watch between episodes of spongebob and perhaps re-reminded to you in the classroom when your teacher wore a got milk shirt. That idea. That idea looks old. It looks like it belongs in your brain. But it doesn’t. Because it is literally a lie. It is wrong. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. Breakfast never was the most important meal of the day.

They fooled you. And that is fine. You trusted them. That is your fault. Do not blame them. You are not a victim. You chose to allow “big milk” to have FREE REAL ESTATE IN YOUR BRAIN FOR DECADES. Now is the time to kick them to the curb. Fortify the wall. Do not let anyone inside of your brain who is not supposed to be there.

This is much easier said or written about than actually done. Do you know anyone who actually does this? On a micro and macro level. Their actions generally tell an important but an incomplete piece of this story. Because for someone to really understand what is driving them, they need to be hyper aware of the why behind what they believe in. You can generally tell these people are more howard roark like they are more not interested in getting feedback they are not interested in learning about other things perhaps because they are too nervous to get influenced or perhaps because they genuinely do not care. I imagine both prototypes can work.

Influencing others without their consent. How do we feel about that? You could imagine 100 years from now, if we are all hooked up to a Neuralink of sorts, then spam messaging will be something closer to more directly influencing others by tapping into their brains and sending them messages. This would be insane and surely will be illegal. Like imagine someone hacks into the Neuralink network and forces everyone to listen to the same song or same political rally. It would be insane?!

So why is it legal now?

Why can I walk down the street and be sold things via billboards. And be told that I am not good enough. And be told that I need to buy more. And be told that I should change?

Influence is extremely dangerous. That is not entirely a new idea. “Peer pressure” etc. is a well marketed concept. People say that you need to be able to think independently but I do not think this notion is expressed clearly enough, especially to young people. I wonder if this is ~good for society. I am not sure. I am not sure that everyone thinking entirely independently will lead to more progress as a society. Progress deserves “progress” quotes because I have not defined the term and currently lack the ability to do so. For now I mean it in the abstract. Like the idea of “it being good for the world.” I am not sure independence for the masses would lead to that.

My gut tells me that today the COST of being an independent thinker is TOO DAMN HIGH. Like it is genuinely hard to think independently.

Structurally we have totally the wrong infrastructure. Our life infra today—phones, tvs, laptops, internet as it currently is, etc.—is TOTALLY not built for a “distractionless” life. In fact, we could argue it does a lot of damage towards the opposite. It feels more like a treadmill. You are constantly being bothered and being made to feel small and take the energy out of you. We have totally the wrong infra in place.

I wonder if you had the right infra in place, then would thinking for yourself actually be really easy? Or would it still be hard? Would mimesis find its form in other ways. Girard or whatever probably has something to chime into this discussion.

Mimesis — copying others — could it manifest in a microchasm? Would we start to just copy nature? Probably.

So perhaps there is something more to it. Being aware of the thoughts in your brain actually takes work. Not just the thoughts but as we discussed above where they come from and where they are going and the purpose they serve you or at least intend to serve you. What if people laid all of that out more clearly for you? Perhaps that is the root issue?

So it’s like we have infra today that is like HONESTLY A DISTRACTION MACHINE. Perhaps was not intentional but like a lot of the internet / modern society is the distribution of commodities, thanks to moore’s law tech is commodity really at the limit most of the time so the winners are those with distribution. And the best model for distribution or people who have aggregated demand is to advertise. So yes advertising rules the world. And advertising is most effective and valuable when you have a captive audience that you can influence and that trusts you. We can save the definition of trust for another time but the point being is that it is all about being able to influence others.

This is not a new thing. Kings did this for years. And now we have literally placed INFLUENCE DEVICES, AND BUILT MINI CASINOS ON TOP OF THEM THAT PEOPLE ARE ADDICTED TO, SUCH THAT THE ABILITY TO INFLUENCE IS MORE SCALABLE AND EASIER TO MANAGE THAN EVER BEFORE IN HISTORY.

(This idea is contradicting a separate thought I have though which is that coordination is extremely hard and even harder to scale. How is that we can influence more people than ever before but we cannot coordinate them around a common goal to the standard we like? Something there I am stuck on that I will marinate on in some capacity).

But beyond there being less distractions. I think we still have not solved the issue. The issue of the awareness of what is owning real estate. And that likely stems from lack of VISIBILITY. HOW DO WE MAKE THE IDEAS/NOTIONS more legible? How do we view them more easily such that we can take inventory more efficiently? How can we expose the villains faster? How can we build a border wall faster?

We probably have to start by doing this for ourselves before we can reach out to help others. This blog is a start at that.


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