George Saunders has a relatively Buddhist outlook. He talks about meditation in the first episode of The Active Voice (starts about 16 min):


Anyway I love that man. I haven’t had the chance to read his new short story yet.

Here’s me delivering my thoughts from evil:

Lately I’ve been thinking about how writing is like a metropolis-Hastings sampler. This is a method of sampling unusual probability distributions that works by starting at an arbitrary point, then perturbing that point (“jiggling” it), then either “accepting” or “rejecting” the result. Then you just keep perturbing and accepting or rejecting. This is a really important algorithm for Bayesian inference.

I feel like this is how writing actually is. It’s sort of stochastic. You don’t really know how to write a good thing. Instead, what you do is you basically start somewhere arbitrary, and then you just perturb stuff, and then you read it again and you either accept it or you reject it, and you keep perturbing. If this is true, then being a good writer is all about tuning the perturbation function (how wildly should you change things in edits? Should you cut things out, add stuff in?) and the accept / reject function (the “ear” you have for good writing, and your ability to identify how effectively you are achieving your aims).

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Listening to music for me is a way to re-connecting with my soul and my emotions. Is almost like a somatic therapy for me 😅😂 It helps me move the emotions through my body that might be a litter more difficult to discharge in other ways or techniques.

Have you read “Sapiens” from Yuval Noah Harari? Or “Homo Deus” (I haven’t read this one yet, is waiting on my desk 😅)?

Also you might find it interesting the book from Christopher Ryan name “Civilized to Death”.

The question that you bring us on human nature is a difficult one to answer, at least for me 😅 Life is so simple and complex at the same time.

As machines of creating meaning a part of me “wish” we can “improved” human nature in certain ways and the other side of me believe we are meant to be the way we are - I feel this is because I have a spiritual side of me that believes our “imperfections” are what help us “improve” and “grow”. But, also I can see how that believe of “growing” and “improvements” out side of the spiritual idea can be toxic to our souls, environment and the world in general when things get out of “control” or “balance?”.

So I definitely don’t have the answers. Also this make me remember again the Maslow's hierarchy of needs... I feel a lot of the way we process and generate thoughts come from where we are on that hierarchy.

Just another stream of thoughts on this comment 😅

Have a great day Brian 🌸

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I really enjoyed your thoughts on these different topics - you gave me plenty to think about. Thank you

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I would counter Pinker's "Auditory Cheesecake" with Nietzsche's, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - music may not be biologically essential in pure survival terms, but it has an important cultural significance going back over aeons. I wonder what Pinker thinks the dawn chorus of birds?

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Was just enjoying this great post when I came across my own name! What a surprise!!! Loved these reflections and agree that music somehow still seems underappreciated?!?!

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