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Writing Day 29 – Conspiracy


Started: 2018-03-18
Finished: 2018-03-19

I think most of my writing about books will be just short stabs like this.
Or I’ll never get to anything in time.

I was supposed to start with Perennial Seller and then this popped up and looked like less intensive, so I picked it up first.

Well, it’s an awesome, racy read.
And something only Ryan Holiday could have done justice to.
He writes almost objectively, never hiding his biases.

Sometime in late 2007, Gawker publication Valleywag, outed Peter Thiel as gay.
And nearly ten years and ten million dollars later, Peter Thiel burned Gawker Media to the ground by secretly backing another Gawker victim with his case against Gawker in court.

So what happened in between?
Well, that’s what the book is about.

The sheer amount of hopelessness, hubris, desspair, planning, plotting, conspiracy in the whole book is almost perversely delightful.

I don’t agree with Thiel on most of what he does. (Palantir … Trump … )
But when I put myself into his shoes, what would I have done, if I was violated and I had the means to strike back?
I know that feeling of despair when I have been wronged, and yet I couldn’t do anything about it
I would have done exactly what he did.

And while the book is about conspiracy, the part that I identified the most with, was the fact that Peter was the only one with the balls to call Gawker’s bluff.1
Gawker upset a lot of rich folk and large companies.
Yet, it was only Peter who did something about it.

And I identify with it, because I did exactly that after nearly 4 years of being bullied and blackmailed in high school.
Reading this brought back memories …
Driving an enemy into the ground, so completely that they’ll never do harm again, is exhilirating.
I’ve never let myself be helpless ever again.

And while I’ve taken Marcus Aurelius’ exhortation2 to heart, there is also a bit of truth to this quote from the book …

I couldn’t stand it. I still can’t stand it.
I can’t stand the way things are. I cannot tolerate this age.
What is more, I won’t.
That was my discovery: that I didn’t have to.
—Walker Percy, Lancelot

  1. And the fact that revenge is a dish best served cold. 

  2. The best revenge, is not to be like that 

Writing Day 26 – On Writing Days

I started writing regularly 26 days ago.

I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I did know I wanted to build a practice of sticking to things; something I feel I’m sorely lacking in, as each new “ooh, shiny!” flits across my field of vision.

And I know I want to build something like this!

Nearly a month in, I think I’m barely scratching the surface.
But it definitely isn’t as bad as it was when I started.
And it definitely isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.
It’s beginning to feel like I can do this, but there is still quite a ways to go.

I’ve definitely felt like giving up tonnes of times.
But I’ve read that even when I don’t feel like it, I ought to just do it.
Do the bare minimum1. Don’t break the chain.

I might decide to drop the tag next year2, but I fervently hope, this leads to writing being as much as part of me, as reading is.

And I hope it leads me to something like this.

I haven’t missed a day in many, many years—the discipline of sharing something daily is priceless. Sometimes there are typos. I hope that they're rare and I try to fix them.

Over time, the blog adds up. People remember a blog post a year after I wrote it. Or they begin a practice, take an action, make a connection, something that grows over time. The blog resonates with people in so many fields, it’s thrilling to see how it can provoke positive action.

It’s true that I’d write this blog even if no one read it, but I want to thank you for reading it, for being here day after day. It's more fun that way. There are more than a million subscribers, and, best I can tell, people read this in nearly every country in the world.

  1. Most posts now, certainly feel like it. 

  2. The aim, now is to have 365 posts tagged, daily-writing. 



The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong in the broken places.

— Ernest Hemingway

Writing Day 24 – Why I Love My Insights


I’ve come across several a-has in life all on my ownsome.

I struggled with credit cards and debt and realised much of what were Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and later Taleb’s thoughts on optionality all on my own.

When I read about them later, it was a huge boost of Hell Yeah!

While I do realise that life is to short to learn by experience, and that most of my “original” thoughts will have been thought of long before I ever did, it’s such a high to arrive at an insight all on my ownsome.

Figuring out something by experience or by reason is fun :)

It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise.
William Deresiewicz