Don't concern or worry too much about your own personal needs. Meet the bare minimum for your basic human needs, and devote the rest of your intellectual and creative metabolic energy towards greater ends!
In life if you approached it like it were all fun and games ... wouldn't you be happier, more productive, more creative and more passionate about living? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/09/16/in-praise-of-play/
In Praise of Playing with Kids
For the most part, I FAAAR prefer interacting and playing with kids than adults. Why? We have soooo much more to learn from children:
Their phenomenal sense of creativity, disregard for rules and ‘social tact’. They speak what is *really* on their mind.
I wonder if children (if we observe their thought patterns and behaviors, etc) are the more *true* form of human being. The modern adult as simply a castrated, domesticated (herd) animal. Children are like wild beasts; is this our primal nature?
First of all I don’t believe in “white” people. This makes no sense. I’m actually more pale and more “white” in skin tone than many Caucasian people (the more accurate term for a “white” person) as a Korean.
So when I talk about “white washing”, what do I mean? I mean it is like applying bleach to anything which is saucy, interesting, enjoysome and “racy” and “inappropriate” in life to make it acceptable and “wholesome” to essentially placate over-protective parents, paternalistic members of the elite intelligentsia, and also to placate advertisers.
Why is change so scary and difficult? Why are we so reticent to change? My thoughts: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/09/15/change-2/
To change things or to change ourselves means:
I must take some sort of real life risk and have some sort of ‘skin in the game’ in regards to my personal actions in embodied reality.
It is safer to complain. Talk is cheap. Action is expensive. Expensive meaning:
If you fuck up in real life, there are real consequences.
However when you just complain, there is really no downside. Even when you complain, nobody will punish you for complaining. Actually it seems that 99% of social circles are just complaining parties. People come together, and love to complain about x, y, z. This is why I hate talking politics; it is all about complaining, no changing.
A thought the other day:
What’s underrated in life, and what’s overrated in life?
Sleep is underrated. Productivity is overrated.
Cars are overrated. Walking is underrated.
Shooting film is overrated. Shooting digital is underrated.
Bench press is overrated. Deadlift is underrated.
Leica is overrated. Ricoh is underrated.
Tesla is overrated. Toyota is underrated.
iPhone is overrated. iPad is underrated.
Sunlight is underrated. Indoors is overrated.
Email is overrated. Phone calls (audio only) are underrated.
Merino wool clothing is underrated. Cotton is overrated.
Sneakers are overrated. Barefoot is underrated.
Reps are overrated. One rep max is underrated.
What is the most difficult thing in life? To decide. To put your foot down, and to take extreme culpability and extreme responsibility for your self and life.
Simple thought and idea:
Once you’ve made your own needs and wants uber-basic, then you can devote all your energy, time, mental space, mental power, and human metabolism on creating things *beyond* yourself.
Note arsbeta.com (crowd sourcing real photography feedback). Why App — philosophical reflection tool.
The best way to leave a substantive and enduring legacy:
Don’t devote any of your life doing anything you hate for.
Also … only doing that which you truly love and care for.
And when you do what you do, share it openly and freely with others! In praise of OPEN SOURCE.
Of course we need jobs to pay rent, feed ourselves, etc .. but with today's brave new COVID world, what is really the purpose of a job?
For example for a lot of people, a job is their external identity and sense of self. For others it is a monetary thing; they have too much debt (debt is the devil) and cannot afford *NOT* to work (they are dependent on their job to pay off their bills, credit card debt, mortgage, additions to their house, car payments, etc).
You are the platform. You are the end goal. The goal ain’t to build some external empire in quick sand. No. The end goal is for you to build your own personal self to the max.
ENERGY VAMPIRES: people who TAKE and sap away more energy than they give you.
Let us not be fooled: our energy (and life) is limited. Therefore be very very very very very choosy on who you decide to give your energy to (or not):
An individualistic economics perspective:
Don’t worry about world global and macro economics. Focus on your individual economics.
Let us remember the first notion of “economics” is actually regarding home economics (Aristotle on Home Economics [Greek is Οἰκονομικά and Latin is Oeconomica]). “Oikos” as referring to “home”.
Also Hesiod on home economics (Works and Days, and his theories on household management— like starting your own farm, getting a woman maid, getting an ox, etc).
How to manage yourself, your household, etc.
Why help others?
Certainly it is not a universal 'rule' or duty for everyone. When it comes to duties, I believe all duties should be self-imposed. You only pursue a duty because you personally care for it, or because you personally have dictated to yourself:
This is a worthy and worthwhile goal for me. I shall pursue it because I deem it worthy for me.
For myself it has been simply a matter of my personal ethics:
So many people have helped me get to where I am today and thus I feel it is my duty to also give back and pay it forward.
Or in other words:
Help other kids who were once in a position like me!
To be 'critical' comes from the Ancient Greek 'kritikos' which literally means "to judge". Thus when it comes to any knowledge, informations, opinions or ideas... go to the source (primary documents, not human-centipede secondary documents) and judge for yourself.
Think more >
The Anti Meat Conspiracy Read Here
I am convinced --
One of the worst ills in modern society is this vehement anti-meat bias.
For example, ask yourself:
If you are an intellectual, are you allowed to go to a dinner party and tell everyone outloud that "I love to eat meat!"
No. You would be seen as a monster, someone who is killing the planet, etc. The more 'virtuous' thing is to be either vegetarian, vegan, or perhaps someone who only eats 'pasture-raised grass-fed humanely slaughtered' meat, preferably from Whole Foods or a farm, "once a while". Even more virtuous to "give up red meat"-- because it is 'bad for the planet', 'bad for your health' and 'inhumane to animals', etc.
Why do I care about this?
Now if you have a Netflix subscription you've probably seen one of the anti-meat propaganda films. I am not going to argue the ethics of meat eating in terms of environmental reasons (yet), but I desire to explore the contours of our strange new society which is profoundly dog-and-pet friendly, but anti-human?
Are animal lives EQUIVALENT to human lives?
First question. I say easily:
No matter what, a human life will ALWAYS be infinitely superior to an animal life of any kind. If I had a choice of saving a stranger's baby's life or the life of my (beloved) dog, I would always choose the life of the human being ... even if it weren't my own kid.
The best life:
Maximal freedom of speech, activity and thought.
What should we atone for most?
Self-censoring ourselves … lacking the courage to say what is *really* on our mind:
We are being distracted to death which prevents us from asking the simple (yet essential) question:
What do I really want out of life?
Why do some people soooo badly want the conspiracy theories to be true? Because it gives them some sort of comfort knowing that they can scapegoat someone else (Peter Thiel, Rene Girard) for their own suffering, pain, and existential dread: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/25/the-philosophy-of-conspiracies/
You must first love your body before you begin to love yourself.
Your body *IS* YOU!
No matter how rich or powerful you are, you can never transform your body to be anything else but what it is.
I have never met any person who loves their body, face, or look.
The sad reality:
Nobody cares for ethics because it doesn’t make money and isn’t lucrative.
But just because it ain’t lucrative doesn’t mean that it is not important or illegitimate!
Codified human-metabolism-movement power.
If money can be used as a tool to motivate people to do x, y, z for you … it is good.
It is true that money makes the world go round
Or better said:
Money moves people.
If we were perfectly balanced, technically we are stuck in a state of stasis. Progression movement and growth only works if we are unbalanced … leaning towards a certain way!
An anti-hippy, zen-Buddhist-Taoist modernistic notion of “enlightenment”.
What is a life post-retirement? A life which is more carefree, less busy. Slower. Only pursuing what you care for. No need for a monetary incentive to do ... anything!
Contrary to popular belief ... after you retire you can actually become *MORE* creatively productive with your own personal interests and passions in life!
Let us not get suckered. Computers should be 'bicycles for the mind' (Steve Jobs). Don't think that humans can be made redundant. We can get rid of all computers with zero downside. But can we get rid of all humans with no downside? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/20/are-computers-made-for-humans-or-are-humans-made-for-computers/
To become wiser, become *MORE* skeptical of everything.
Also — know that ‘absence of evidence isn’t absence of evidence’ (Nassim Taleb). There is much hidden information unbeknownst to us. Hidden facts which are hidden from us.
“The truth is hidden deep, otherwise it wouldn’t be the truth” (Heraclitus)
Nobody really knows what they want out of life. Some people want to be 'happy' or to maximize their hedonic pleasure. But ... shouldn't we think *BEYOND* these base pleasures, and towards something deeper and more profound? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/20/what-do-you-really-want-out-of-life/
‘Top Off’ JAY Z song.“I see the po-po behind me, I ain’t ‘gon stop!'” (JAY Z)
99.9% of the time you ain’t gonna get ‘in trouble’.
Also — most people are too slow. Don’t let anyone slow you down!
In life there ain't no right and wrong. The best goal is to simply share your uncensored personal truths with others. https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/19/just-share-your-own-personal-truth-with-others/
Let us not get suckered:
All news is fake news.
What do I mean by this? Well–
All news is cherry picked and taken out of context in order to maximize clicks and advertising revenue
Often we cherry pick what people said rather than what they *meant to say*.
In life, foods, and almost everything in life … bitter is better. For example coffee is sweet and enjoyful to us because it is bitter (small dose of poison, hormesis). Also, bitter greens (kale, collard greens) are only “healthy” to us because it is bitter (bitter substances stimulate our body’s physiological response).
Similar in real life, it is the bitter experiences which make us better and improve us. A life with no bitterness, sadness, sorrow, pain or suffering isn’t a life worth living.
Let us say all the hoaxes, conspiracy theories or whatever is true. Then what? Like Andy Warhol said:
Whenever I was criticized in life, I would just ask myself: “So what?” This fixed a lot of things.
This is my point of interest. Let us say all the isms which exist in America and beyond are true and irrefutable. Then the question comes:
So what are you gonna do about it?
Why I’m so greedy for the gains:
1. ‘Greed’ is subjective
The big problem:
People tend to think that ‘greed’ means “evil”.
But this is nonsense. Any human being who doesn’t want more is either mentally or physiologically sick. A human (and life in general) is about growth, augmentation, becoming bigger, better, and more.
hat is the future of lifestyle? My thoughts:
More time stuck indoors
The importance of mental and physical/physiological health
Money as less important (why save up for a home, if you know that staying home all day sucks?)
Existential dread — more people trying to find a purpose or direction in their life
More people who want to be creative while stuck in quarantine
A great chance to start blogging, vlogging, and just sharing whatever interests you.
The goal ain't work for work sake. The goal is to only work on things you truly care for (what you got your heart in). The goal is purposeful productivity: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/10/purposeful-productivity/
Contrary to popular belief, most of the (good) internet trolls are actually highly intelligent, motivated, smart, and educated individuals. But why do they troll? Some of my thoughts: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/10/the-psychology-of-an-internet-troll/
Movement is the goal. To move the human mass. Movement should better be thought of as “motivation”— the initial motive force that gets us humans moving and going! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/10/movement-is-motivation/
I don't think I've ever read a comment online (or even in real life) which has personally benefitted me -- whether it be a positive one or negative one. No great ideas are created via committee. Avoid the trap of trying to placate others. Have extreme faith in yourself, your own ideas, and propagate them widely: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/09/why-i-dont-read-comments/
How did Trump win? Easy; the liberal media gave him probably $1 trillion dollars worth of free marketing and advertising.
Humans aren’t rational or objective. We are emotional beings. This means:
As as long you’re in the media spotlight, you will win.
Why I bought Bitcoin (BTC) and Digibyte (DGB) and think cryptocurrency (and other forms of crypto, like digital ledgers) are the future for photographers and this brave new digital economy: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/08/bitcoin-and-cryptocurrency-for-photographers/
To schedule is less wise. Better to takes a 'Bayes' approach -- a combination of tinkering with your schedule, going with the flow, following your gut (and legs) and not putting yourself into a 'Procrustean bed' of a (boring and rigid) schedule.
Because most people are either cowards (no skin in the game), or their opinion (online) depends on advertising, revenue, sponsorship, etc: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/06/why-is-everyone-so-fake/
My thoughts: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/08/06/why-im-so-suspicious-of-everyone-online-and-on-the-internet/
As long as someone monetizes their YouTube channel with advertising or their own website-blog with ads … don’t trust them. Why not? They cannot truly be 100% free with their thoughts, in fear of losing sponsorship or advertising revenue.
More trust of people who are either independently wealthy, have a random side-job (plumber, janitor, cleaner, construction worker) than someone who is employed with the aesthetics of their body composition. No trust in ‘fitness experts’ who hasn’t publicly admitted to steroid usage. This is why I trust CALUM VON MOGER more than other guys, because he has openly admitted to steroid use!
Or in other words:
Only trust assholes. Don’t trust ‘nice guys‘.
I would PAY MONEY for the *PRIVILEGE* to workout. To me, human grandeur and apex happiness is not possible without working out and eating lots of delicious meat:
One of the worst ills of ‘Gen Z’ kids: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/31/social-fear-aversion-therapy/
They cannot make eye contact, have poor social skills.
Even us ‘Millenials’. We cannot make eye contact. We always got our AirPods in. It is not considered ‘cool’ to talk to strangers. Worse yet, most people don’t got the guts (or social skills) to talk to strangers.
But what is the real problem here? Twofold:
Modern society doesn’t encourage talking to strangers or interacting with strangers (stranger danger)
Technology and our phones make us socially averse to other people.
I have high expectations of others. A big one:
One’s back-stage self should be the same as one’s front-stage self.
In other words:
Don’t talk a certain way behind the scenes and talk a different way in front of the camera.
Make it the same.
Make yourself consistent: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/30/consistency/
The general gist of fear marketing:
More effective to drive people towards certain decisions and behaviors based on fear, rather than praise-reward-encouragement.
Everyone has told us that capitalism and consumerism is evil. But truth be told, capitalism and consumerism and international trade/finance has probably led to more tolerance as well as more peace. As a pacifist (I am anti-war), I prefer a world with more tolerance and mutual peace. As unjust and cruel as capitalism is, it seems to be the least bad system to promote global tolerance and peace.
Why do we think selfish is evil?
In the modern world when we call someone selfish we mean to say ‘evil, wicked, and you’re gonna go to hell’.
But let us be more critical. To be selfish (from a sociological perspective) is evil because what one does for only him or herself (which doesn’t benefit others) is anti-herd, anti-community, and anti-collective.
But us more spirited and wise philosophers know:
Selfishness (without inflicting physical violence upon others) is our greatest virtue.
"Even a hair casts its own shadow" - Publilius Syrus (this means even the most minute, small, mundane, everyday thing you share can be interesting!)
Why share it? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/23/just-share-it-3/
In life, strive to achieve your ‘one rep max‘ in business, entrepreneurship, powerlifting, and life.
See to achieve a ‘proof of concept‘ by seeing how much you can sell a certain product for, your hourly consulting rate, or your services and workshop fees.
Strive to increase your one rep max for deadlift instead of boring pointless reps. Better to increase intensity than reps.
My personal thoughts on the importance of tolerance in society: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/11/eric-kim-philosophy-of-tolerance/
Audio File download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ALL-Philosophy-of-Tolerance-by-ERIC-KIM.m4a
Everyday, strive to improve (at least) .5%, or 1%, or whatever percentage. Even a tiny tiny tiny improvement everyday, compounded over a year is insane gains! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/08/the-kaizen-approach-to-life/
Create the change which you wish to see manifested in the real world.
Entrepreneurship as the art of risk-taking to create something interesting, unique, useful, or great for your own benefit and the benefit of all of mankind:
If we think about American cultural hegemony over the planet, then certainly ... being an 'American' is less about a nationality or place, but perhaps more of an attitude or code of living. https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/07/03/the-american-attitude-is-open-to-all/
Perhaps we should head towards a more modular future ... less reliance on buying stuff. Instead, focus on BUILDING things. CREATING THINGS! Creating things from scratch. Don't buy a Lambo; rather... start with a beater car and build it up! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/06/30/towards-a-modular-future/
Virtue is the goal: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/06/30/virtue-3/
What is virtue?
Human grandeur. Human greatness. What it means is to be great, high and mighty, WITHOUT the pettiness and bullshit. Virtue as a 'via negativa' concept; you become MORE VIRTUOUS by being less petty, less scared, and less small.
The soul ain't some random gaseous substance which can exist independently of your body. No. Your body is your soul, and your soul is your body.
Which means: when your body dies, your soul dies too.
Don't let fear get in your way. You will always feel fear when pursuing your passions. Just don't let fear PREVENT you from doing what you desire to do. https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/06/22/lecture-how-to-conquer-your-fears-presentation-eric-kim/
Don’t walk for ‘exercise’. No — walk for existential reasons. To walk slowly is the first step to becoming a philosopher (Nassim Taleb). Also remember the Nietzsche quote:
Trust no thought which doesn’t come to you while walking!
Question: What are our ideal aesthetics in photography? Do we want our photos to look as much as 'real life' as possible, or ABOVE-REALITY (uber-reality, uber-photography?)
Things will never be the same. Perhaps instead of waiting for things to get back "to the way they used to be", it is about adapting to this BRAVE NEW WORLD ... and for us to also learn how to profit/benefit from these uncertain times.
Just my thoughts. Theory -- depression, anxiety, and melancholy originating from the body (physiology). There is nothing wrong with you. Loss of motivation (desire to move) must originate in the body. More
I prefer thinking a more physics-based approach to life. Don’t think about “fate” and stuff like that, but think:
How will my actions manifest in reality?
How I conquered my own personal fear: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/11/how-i-conquered-fear/
I am proud to announce NONFUTURE-- the newest film by Cindy Nguyen (all edited and cut by Cindy in Final Cut Pro -- I was just the camera-man). A truly beautiful piece of art-work we produced through the pain and struggle of COVID-19. If this rings a bell with you, please share with a family member, friend, or loved one.
More here: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/05/nonfuture-film-by-cindy-nguyen/
Aren't you so happy to be alive? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/04/the-great-joy-of-existence/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/THE-GREAT-JOY.mp3
YOU GOT THE POWER. You got the power to complain whine and moan, or you got the power to take your steel and make your own throne.
This is your Rome and Romulus ain’t holding you back. Never backtrack; only attack.
POWER is within you, and power is you. So why despise you?
Love you, and believe in you. Adamantine spine, live your life divine.
Why avoid news? It is like the human centipede of shit and fear. You keep consuming more fear, and you feel more fearful. You become more timid, scared, and paralyzed.
Your personal interests and the interests of the news and media isn’t aligned.
Consider– social media and these corporations are ‘fear merchants’. They aren’t incentivized to give you truthful information or news. Their ultimate goal is to maximize profits– via advertising. Their only incentive in making things ‘truthful’ is only insofar-much as people stop using their platform, which will result in less money earned and fewer profits.
Thus ask yourself:
Is it in the best interests of the news to give me the most personally-relevant, accurate, and useful information?
SOCIAL DISTANCING. Very interesting. Why? It is going to change how humans interact with one another for a very long time... https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/04/01/the-sociology-of-social-distancing/
CERTAINLY there is good and bad in life. But, perhaps the best way to live is this:
When shit hits the fan, figure out how you can benefit, profit, and EXPLOIT it in a good way for yourself!
For example: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/31/exploit-the-best-from-tragedy-and-life-philosophy/
What will be the industries of the future?
IT [information technology]
Crypto-currency [Bitcoin, Digibyte, Alt-coins, etc]
Amazon, delivery services
Live-streaming, live-webcam, live-life-streaming [imagine someone just walking around and live-streaming what it feels to be outdoors to others].
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/P1451086-FUTURE-INDUSTRIES.mp3
WHAT'S THE POINT OF MONEY IN A POST-MONETARY SOCIETY? I think we are currently seeing vestiges of this impending future. A future of Capitalism 2.0. Less focus on money. More focus on... something else? https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/30/post-monetary-society/
Share your opinion. Why? There is no right and wrong when it comes to your opinion. And if you got a true opinion, best to share it with others!
STOICISM FOR DUMMIES
MY INTRODUCTION TO STOICISM (simplified):
1. Life is all upside, no downside.
First principle -- recognize that life is all upside, no downside.
Let us take every event in life and transform it into our advantage!
Why do we get bitter and salty in life? My theory:
We self-sacrifice ourselves but when others aren't grateful as much as they 'should be', we become resentful towards them and reality.
Thus, it seems the solution is to become maximally self-centered, selfish, introverted, egotistical, and vain.
3. What is the duty of a stoic?
Your goal is to maximally empower yourself, then empower others along the way.
In life, you can have your cake and eat it too! Or, how to kill two birds with one stone: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/27/in-praise-of-double-dipping/
CURRENTLY I feel hyper-happy. Why? My physiological strength is off the Richter.
You don't know when you're gonna die. So perhaps make and create art-works like today were your last day on planet earth. And of course, share it with others! Share it on your own website, blog, YouTube, or directly with friends via email, messenger, text message, email newsletter!
What makes life so sweet? The opportunity to create art: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/27/life-is-and-reality-is-worth-it-even-for-a-few-great-photos/
Let us be honest with ourselves:
Even once this clears up, things will never be the way they used to be.
This is a good way to think. Why? It allows us to quickly adapt and move on with our lives!
I think we're afraid of the fear associated (BEFORE) you die...not the actual death itself.
Strive to motivate yourself (to move) to the maximum, and share your ideas/thoughts with others... to also encourage them to move and motivate themselves! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/23/motivate-yourself-motivate-others/
What's the point of moving? To propel yourself. To MOVE. Move forward, move upwards... move to a higher level... a new plane!
Now is your chance. Your opportunity. This type of opportunity only comes once in (your) lifetime!
Mp4 file: https://videos.files.wordpress.com/gwdcoWQ2/brave-new-world-of-digital-entrepreneurship-1080.mov
Okay looks like zombie apocalypse mode is fully on. If you're working from home, here are some ideas to become more productive:
Turn off your wifi: 'Freedom' is a great app to TURN OFF YOUR WIFI for certain periods of time. For example, you can say: "Freedom, turn off all wifi on my laptop for the next 2 hours" and you literally cannot access your internet for the next 2 hours [even if you restart your computer]. Ultimate life hack to be more productive is to TURN OFF YOUR WIFI and NOT get distracted by the internet!
Get on the ground and do max rep pushups: For a fun game, get on the ground and see how many pushups you can do in one go. Or bodyweight squats. Or crunches. When you get your hormones going, you will have more inspiration to actually work.
Standing desk: I have a ghetto standing desk at home. I put a plastic box and Bounty paper towels on top of my kitchen counter, then put my laptop on top of it. When you stand and use the computer, you're more productive. More activation of your legs!
Uninstall all apps from your phone, and use your phone to make phone calls and text message. Use your phone to make phone calls and text message. If your parents are sick, they will call or text you. Uninstall Facebook, Reddit, Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. All this will distract you.
Walk around the block [if possible]. Or open the window and get fresh air. Movement to our legs and fresh air is good for creative productivity.
Intermittent fasting: If you're not leaving your home, practice intermittent fasting. No breakfast or lunch, only dinner. Break your fast at around 6pm-8pm. During the day only drink black coffee and water.
Call a friend or family member: To break up the day, call a friend or family member! Social interaction via the phone is one of the best ways to re-spark your motivation!
Play music on speakers: No headphones. Blast your music, listen to the bass. Bass activates your heart rhythm-- which will pump you up and get you going!
Have (another) cup of black coffee.
Take a nap. If you're exhausted, you can FINALLY take a nap during 'working hours'. The ultimate energy and life hack.
Shit is a bit cray cray right now, but think to yourself:
How can I use this opportunity (stuck at home all day) to build my side hustle, get into shape, build muscle, lose fat, and focus?
This chance can be yours to truly thrive! ERIC
THE GOAL AIN'T TO BECOME ANYONE ELSE BUT YOURSELF! https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/03/19/become-yourself/
Why aren't we encouraged to become ourselves?
You are imperfect, bad, and you must become like x, y, z if you desire to become worthy, loved, and virtuous.
What we are currently witnessing might be a sign of things to come. A new society. Society 2.0.
Why commute to work? Why not just work from home?
Why have in-person meetings, when you can do it virtually? Or — why have meetings at all? Has anyone ever truly accomplished or created something truly unique and great during a meeting? Doubtful.
Consumerism and capitalism on pause
When we can no longer buy stuff, no longer go to the mall, no longer travel, no longer go to restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues — what is the point of earning money besides paying rent and feeding ourselves?
Producers shall inherit the earth
Who will thrive in this brave new world? The creators and producers, NOT consumers.
A brave new world of digital entrepreneurship
I am excited. With the destruction of Society 1.0, there will be NEW GROWTH and NEW LIFE in this brave new digital economy. More cryptocurrency, more digital products, more digital art works.
More self sustaining things. More self-reliance. For example, if you cannot go to the art store, of course you can’t buy paint and canvases. So what are you to do? Make digital art on your iPad at home! Same goes with photography. Why buy and shoot film and process it, when you can do it all digitally?
Think new opportunities
'Digital sharecropping' is probably a more fair assessment than 'digital slavery', but the sentiment is pretty much the same. If you find your self-esteem and self-ego tied up with numbers on social media (likes, followers, views, etc) -- you're metaphorically enslaved to social media, and their whims.
Take the red pill
Social media is a metaphorical matrix. If we are being subtly programmed to act, think, and feel a certain way -- we are becoming enslaved.
Consider -- if you ever feel social media 'nudging' you to think, feel, and behave a certain way, this is bad.
If your ultimate goal is apex artistic productivity, or to become the most epic human-being, you must delete Instagram, stop using Reddit, stop using Facebook, and instead -- become a producer and creator (instead of a passive consumer of social media content).
I'm so motivated because I'm in hyper-health, physiologically thriving, through powerlifting and sleeping a lot, through intermittent fasting, and eating lots of meat.
Also, the child-like curiosity in creating new things!
Creativity isn't this superpower you're born with (or not). Creativity is having the DESIRE or the motivation to CREATE and make stuff!
Also, creativity is something which can be trained (like our muscles)!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/a-new-definition-of-creativity-propensity-or-desire-to-create/
To conquer photography, we must kill all prior notions of photography, and declare to ourselves:
I shall become the most epic photographer of all-time, and build up all my creative/visual faculties to the maximum!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/how-to-conquer-photography/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/HOW-TO-CONQUER-PHOTOGRAPHY.mp3
Consider-- we as photographers are both image-makers and idea-makers. This is huge, because it means we have the power to shape, interpret, and mould reality to our own liking.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/26/photographers-shall-inherit-the-earth/
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Prioritize-Your-Own-Needs-Desires-and-Wants-Over-Others.mp3
To maximize your impact and change in the world, embrace MAXIMUM SELFISHNESS, and barbell 'maximum altruism' on the other end.
Why prioritize yourself?
My thought is this:
We want to avoid pettiness and resentment in life.
Often when we spend our entire lives devoting it to others (instead of focusing on our own self-development), we start to build hidden resentment towards others.
Why not posit yourself as an end into yourself?
Why are we not allowed to posit ourselves as an end unto ourselves?
Well -- Christian/Utilitarian morality says:
Thou shalt become a useful instrument for the masses and others.
And also in almost all cultures in the world, the notion of being 'selfish' is synonymous with 'evil'.
Why is this? Well-- in the past (when there was a limited pie, zero-sum society), any benefit you gave yourself was a HIDDEN DOWNSIDE to others. For example if I have a pizza with 12 slices and I eat 6 slices, that means 6 fewer slices for my community or family. But in today's world with infinite technology and effectively infinite/free food, these old-school notions of 'selfish' being 'evil' is not a good one.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/25/prioritize-your-own-needs-desires-and-wants-over-others/
In life, we always want to feel that our power, influence, and strength is ASCENDING. It brings us great dismay when we feel our power is descending.
For example, when we think about money — it isn’t about how much money you ultimately got. It is more about income flow (the stream of money constantly entering your bank account), the feeling that your earning potential is increasing, and the feeling that your bank account is becoming more swollen. We want to see upwards growth — this is the feeling of augmenting strength.
Also for myself, I track my personal growth via my strength gains. I track my “PR” (personal records) at the gym in my deadlift, squat, and bench press. When I feel that I’m on the road to increasing my ultimate strength and lifts, I’m happy. When I look at myself in the mirror and I see my body and muscles getting bigger, I feel happy. But once again — it isn’t about objective strength, or ultimate strength or numbers. It is about the feeling of growth, the feeling of increasing power.
Don’t allow your will to be obstructed
I think this is the big thing:
The worst anger is when we feel that our will is being obstructed by something.
Then perhaps anger is like fire and ammunition— anger gives us ADDITIONAL strength, power, and adrenaline to overcome obstacles, enemies, or those who get in our way, or who we feel is obstructing us. Thus perhaps the biological thing is to channel your anger to overcome whatever is obstructing your will. Perhaps this is how warriors, fighters, and soldiers fight — by channeling a combination of desire to become dominant, part fear (to focus them), and also part anger that their opponent is getting in their way.
Then it seems that the goal of life is to never stop augmenting our strength, power, and influence in the world. It is all about continual growth and progression.
What does a tree want? A tree wants to grow infinitely tall, and to maximally extract resources from the earth — burrowing her roots deeper, and gathering more nutrition from the sky.
What do we as individuals desire? We desire to feel as if we’re always ascending and becoming more, and becoming stronger. Perhaps this desire is a good one. This is the fuel which keeps us empowered and motivated in life to keep on going!
How many resources can you consume, or should you consume?
Now this is the tricky thing — this notion of “sustainability”. We humans consume lots of resources.
Let us talk about ourselves as individuals, not of “humanity” as an abstract whole.
First question: how much resources do we need as individuals?
For myself, I of course desire the maximally optimal conditions for my own individual thriving. This means, being self employed (not having to work a 9-5), having complete freedom over the cadence and flow of my day, having a fast WiFi connection (to upload), a clean and Uber-convenient apartment (minimal cleaning and maintenance), no car, no responsibilities, a good powerlifting gym close by, lots of natural light, coffee and water on tap, and meat on tap (crockpot). Besides this, I don’t need too much.
For my tools, digital camera (RICOH GR III), vlogging camera (Lumix G9), laptop (MacBook Pro), tablet (iPad Pro).
When do I feel my personal power is ascending?
I feel my personal power is ascending when I’m creating more. When I’m making more. When I’m sharing more.
Also the feeling that I’m discovering deeper truths about art, life, photography. This is great, because augmenting my personal power is 100% in my grasp — my feeling of augmented power comes from my sense of artistic creation and productivity.
Practical tips on how to become a more productive artist and creator:
Intermittent fasting: Don't get food coma during the day. Fast until evening or dinner-time. After eating a (massive) and meat-heavy dinner, it is best to 'food coma' and go straight to sleep.
Sleep a shitload: I aim for 10-12 hours. This is good for me, because I start the day with 110% battery capability.
When you can no longer do creative work, walk to the gym and powerlift.
Drink much water and coffee during the day.
Maximal walking, standing, and movement.
To blog, vlog, and log yourself on the internet --
To share your stream of constantly becoming with others.
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Why-I-Blog-Vlog-and-Log.mp3
What is the worst thing holding us back?
This obsession for views, likes, and followers.
To truly thrive as a photographer and visual artist, you must learn to DISDAIN views, likes, and followers.
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/24/anti-views-likes-followers/
To photograph yourself means:
Select a certain aesthetic to convey your personal aesthetic tastes, moods, or attitude towards life.
Only photograph what you consider beautiful. Or if you want to photograph what you consider ugly, do it with intent.
Don’t strive to make “good” photos. Strive to make HONEST photos that reveal part of yourself and your own soul.
There is the saying "You are what you eat" which means:
If you consume nutritious foods, you shall become powerful. If you consume bad foods, you shall become weak and fat.
Perhaps we can approach this attitude to photography --
If you are what you photograph, by photographing what brings you joy will make you more joyful and happy!
Apparently there is a saying in Chinese:
Health begins from your feet upwards.
Which made me think:
The source of all photography begins in your feet!
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Photograph-with-Your-Feet.mp3
The perfect conditions of existence is the optimal circumstances you need to maximize your artistic and philosophical output
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/What-are-the-Perfect-Conditions-of-Existence.mp3
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/4.-Unlock-Your-Hidden-Superpower.mp3
What are Your Hidden Powers?
PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Share-Your-Perspective.pdf
No more censoring yourself. Better to be insanely and brutally honest than to water down your opinion.
All of your perspectives are legitimate and worthy to be shared.
All perspectives are equally legitimate, but the difference is rather: How many people can you get to listen to you and follow/obey you? Or better yet-- how convincing are you?
Your perspective is irrefutable.
The great thing about having a unique perspective:
Nobody can refute your perspective as being 'right' or 'wrong'.
All perspectives are subjective -- the great liberating thought!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/your-perspective-is-irrefutable/
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/i-wanna-be-me/
I WANNA BE ME!
Your goal in life, not to become anyone else, but become MORE YOU!
'I wanna be like Mike!'
Do you remember those old-school commercials with Michael Jordan saying:
"I wanna be like Mike."
Why was this so catchy?
First of all, it rhymed. Secondly, people wanted to BECOME Michael Jordan. He was the greatest athlete during his time, and everyone wanted to become more epic. Thus the notion was this:
If you buy Michael Jordan sneakers, you can become MORE LIKE Michael Jordan.
For example, if you wanted more dominance on the court, wearing "MJ's" would give you more of an edge. People obviously know that wearing a pair of sneakers won't magically turn you into Michael Jordan, but most people think is:
It will augment my innate abilities to a new level.
So the goal is with consumer purchases:
We want to take ourselves to the next level.
Why aren't we allowed to be ourselves?
Why are we encouraged to become OTHER PEOPLE, and not encouraged to become more of ourselves?
My thought is this:
In modern society, we are DISCOURAGED to become ourselves, because of the notion of 'original sin', and the notion that the only legitimate person to imitate is Jesus.
In society we aspire towards messiah-figures. MJ was a messiah-figure in the realm of sports.
Also, Christian morality says:
Thou art a sinner and imperfect, and in order to gain eternal salvation in the afterlife, you must become LESS OF YOURSELF, and become more 'holy' and 'virtuous' (imitating Jesus Christ).
Modern (American) society is weird and contradictory.
This is the problem with American society:
All the desiderata (things we should desire and aspire towards) is contradictory.
For example, consider the ridiculous mis-mash of all these American notions:
Duty to one's family, country, nation, and community.
I feel the reason why consumerism and capitalism has worked well is this:
We all want to differentiate ourselves and gain ascendancy over other humans, but we are taught that we cannot do so without hurting the feelings of others (assuming we change our character and personality). Instead, the only 'safe' way to feel superior is to purchase certain things which augment our feeling of superiority.
Be proud of yourself
Our new virtues:
In praise of (good conscience) bragging
Perhaps these new virtues will elevate us to the next level!
What are Your Hidden Powers?
What lies latent within you? What hidden powers do you have, that you haven't discovered yet, or let out yet?
What is your hidden mutant power?
When reading AKIRA, or thinking about X-MEN, the thought is this:
How can we unlock or uncover hidden human super-powers -- and augment and grow it, to be used for 'the greater good'?
What distracts us?
The problem -- entertainment is being used as a sedative, rather than something to AUGMENT your powers and uncover your hidden powers.
Perhaps if we are constantly being distracted or entertained to death, we lose our inner-signal (our hidden powers), because we are being drowned in noise.
Thus the first Zen-Taoist notion is this:
In order to uncover our hidden powers, we must let ourselves become empty, vacant, in order to let our inner-power and inner-signal to come out.
What is effortless to you?
A hidden power is this:
What can you do insanely well, which doesn't feel like 'work'?
For example, what seems easy to you which seems difficult for others?
Don't fake humble.
"I don't gotta fake humble just because your ass is insecure." - KENDRICK LAMAR
If you know you're good at something, no need to fake humble. Humility is a vice. Humility denigrates us, humility lowers us.
Don't "humble brag". Better to "vain-brag". If you think you're great; don't censor yourself.
The reason we must become vain is this:
To augment your hidden superpowers, you cannot talk down on yourself.
We must not be ashamed of our gift. Instead, it is perhaps a good thing to boast about what we are good at-- in order to augment our self-confidence, in order to maximize our gift!
Black and white simplifies and uncovers the hidden beauty.
I love black and white because:
Black and white SIMPLIFIES your compositions
Black and white is challenging: A 'creative constraint' of monochrome is interesting because it begs the question, "How can you make an interesting image without adding the interest of color?"
Black and white is simpler, more minimal -- which follows my personal aesthetics.
Black and white is more open-ended for the viewer. It forces the viewer to use more of their own imagination to interpret the image, making the image more memorable!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/22/why-black-and-white/
Augment your strengths.
In order to MAXIMIZE your productivity, you must SIMPLIFY your life to the maximum as well!
Why this cult of productivity? My theory-- we want to become more productive (in order to make more money), in order to gain our personal freedom in life.
Problems with big file sizes:
Wasted time: More time to import, export photos, videos, and files.
Internet speeds are still quite slow.
Often more megapixels is WORSE image quality.
More money — more money used on storage (offline) or online (cloud).
Learn more >
More megapixels, more problems: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2015/10/14/more-megapixels-more-problems/
Mp3 file: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/In-Praise-of-Small-File-Sizes.mp3
Leave others alone; tolerate their behavior and way of living!
Learn more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/20/the-golden-and-silver-rule-of-ethics-maximally-tolerant-society/
Mp4 video: https://videopress.com/v/wtTAllZn
The goal isn't to become someone else; the goal is for you to become more maximally you!
Video mp4 file download: https://videopress.com/v/ricfmI2x
PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Become-Yourself-3.pdf
LEARN MORE: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/18/why-i-live/
WHY I LIVE
Why do I live? Why do I wakeup everyday?
What pushes me? What drives me? Why do I do what I do, and why am I so excited to (continue) living?
First of all, excitement. I am excited for the day -- today. What I will do, what I will attempt, and what I will accomplish. And to be frank, I am not so concerned whether I achieve it or not, but I'm more curious about fulfilling my curiosity:
CAN I do this-- am I strong enough?
I then attempt it. If I fail, it ain't that big of a deal. I then simply know that I will continue to train, and continue to attempt! Because even success is a bit overrated. When I succeed, I'm always interested to go 'onto the next one'. Thus, success and failure are the same thing to me. What is more important: ATTEMPTING to go BEYOND.
Helping empower others
My morality and ethics are very simple:
Treat others how I would like to have been treated when I was a kid.
Or more simply:
Treating others how I would like others to treat me.
For example, I am sooooo grateful for all the adults who helped empower me as a child. And I wouldn't be where I am without their external help. Thus, I feel a duty and obligation to give back -- to empower other (ambitious) youngings who desire to become great.
Helping others who were once in my boots
But not just helping kids-- helping other adults. I remember when I felt disempowered, and I discovered a few things which have helped empower me. Thus my ethics are this:
If I share an idea that can empower at least 1 other human being on planet earth, it is worth sharing.
I know that what works for me doesn't work for everyone. However, if my idea, thought, or technique has even a .0001% chance of empowering another human being -- this thought and sentiment drives me to share!
I consider myself a great individual. I don't think there is another human being who has ever come who is similar to me.
I don't consider myself the greatest human being who has ever lived, but I strive to become the greatest human being who has ever lived.
Now this is a lofty goal. But it is a fun and lofty goal. It is something that gets me up in the morning. To fulfill my own vanity and ego, I push myself. For example, let me talk about my physical ego:
For my own ego, I wanted to prove to myself I could deadlift "4 plates" (405 pounds). I then strove hard to accomplish this goal, not because there is any truly practical purpose behind it. It was a pure vanity thing. I wanted to prove to myself my strength and my ability. And I achieved it. Now I am on the road to striving to deadlift 500 pounds.
Also, I have extreme vanity and ego when it comes to my bodily physique and composition. I desire to have much muscle mass, and very little body fat. I am actually currently striving to become around 200+ pounds of (mostly) muscle, with minimal body fat. Now whether I will achieve this goal or not isn't that big of a deal to me-- but striving towards this goal is fun and interesting to me.
CONCLUSION: Become all that you can be
Perhaps the life goal I got is this:
Within my very short lifetime, how much can I become? How much can I empower myself and others?
How high can I fly? What new discoveries can and will I discover? How strong can I become? What new contributions shall I make to humanity?
Lifting weights is boring when the weight is too light. Lifting weights is only fun when it is challenging, difficult, but still "achievable".
Is the best life in which you are seeking the MOST DIFFICULT and hard challenges, and striving with all your might to overcome those challenges?
Read more: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/17/the-path-of-maximal-resistance/
How to Live
The trillion dollar question:
How should we live our lives? What is the best life?
Let me share some honest thoughts:
Only do what you want to do, don't do anything you don't want to do.
No duty. You don't "need" to do anything. If we throw away morality and ethics, then we must stare truth and reality in the face:
You construct your own meaning in life.
There are no ultimate "purpose" to your life. There is no conscious afterlife. This life is your only life.
We are lucky enough to live in a society in which there is enough specialized labor for everything. This means, you don't gotta do what you don't care for.
For example, I don't need to grow my own food, nor do I need to slaughter my own meat. I don't care to live a lifestyle in which I must maintain things; I prefer a maximally maintenance-free lifestyle, in order for me to maximize my artistic production and creation.
"Give me a spot to stand, and I shall move the world!" - Archimedes
The basic notion is this:
Maximize your strength, and disregard your weaknesses.
Most of us generally enjoy doing what we are good at. This means:
If you keep doing what you are really good at (and you enjoy it), you will never get bored of it!
Not only that, but by maximizing your strengths in life (and sharing this with others), you can maximize your impact on humanity.
Download PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Augment-Human-Energy.pdf
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/a0fa78cQQHM
It seems all of us want more energy to do more stuff.
But what does this really mean? What is 'energy' from a physiological human-metabolism perspective? What does it mean to have "more energy", and can we augment our human energy?
And even if we have more energy -- towards which ends do we desire to channel this energy into?
Let me essay some of my thoughts:
READ MORE: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/16/how-to-augment-human-energy/
When should we ask for feedback? When shouldn't we ask for feedback?
Why do we ask for feedback, towards what end?
Are you a newbie?
First of all, my psychological thought:
When we ask for feedback, we are signaling that we lack self-confidence in ourselves.
When we ask for feedback, we acknowledge that the other person is smarter than us, or we perceive them as more knowledgeable or powerful than us.
Do we not want to take responsibility for ourselves and actions?
When we ask others for feedback, we want someone to blame (if we end up screwing up or failing).
Perhaps this is why companies hire consultants:
If a company institutes a new policy, and the policy is bad, they are able to transfer liability to the consultant (easy to blame the consultant).
Kind of like scapegoating.
How much faith do you have in yourself?
Consider a life in which you never asked for feedback. Can you still live a great life?
Yes! Also -- one of the benefits of NOT asking for help or feedback:
More interesting and unique self-experimentation (innovation).
For example, I mostly ignored everything on the internet about powerlifting. I just do heavy singles and attempt new PR's (usually once a week). It is against all conventional wisdom in powerlifting, but it seems to have been working for me.
Another thing -- intermittent fasting during the day, and not breaking my fast until later the day (after working out). I also have done all my powerlifting in a fasted state for almost the last 5 years, which is also seen as a "no-no" (we are indoctrinated with the notion that you must eat something BEFORE working out, but this is not true).
So perhaps the benefit of NOT asking others for feedback is that you are more likely to discover NEW TRUTHS, which are contrary to conventional wisdom.
When is it useful to ask for feedback?
If you need new ideas, and a novel perspective.
For example in photography, I wanted to know how to improve! I felt like I hit a wall in terms of self-improvement, and in order to take it to the NEXT LEVEL, I wanted to elicit the feedback from others. Much of this inspiration is what fueled arsbeta.com -- the desire to 'crowd-source' the 'wisdom of the crowds' to empower photographers from all around the planet. Essentially, creating a platform which I wish I had access to when I started photography.
You don't need to ask for feedback in order to improve.
Don't ask for feedback if you just are looking for someone to blame if you fail.
Ask for "tips" (suggestions) from others, but ultimately you decide whether to obey their feedback/ideas or not. You choose.
If you feel like you're stuck in your growth, hit a plateau, and need an outside perspective, ask for feedback, suggestions, and help!
GROW ON! ERIC
10 Rich Tips How to Make Money from Photography: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/2020/02/13/10-rich-tips-how-to-make-money-from-photography/
Download PDF TEXT: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/10-Rich-Tips-How-to-Make-Money-from-Photography.pdf
Mp3 download: https://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/How-to-Make-Money-from-Photography.mp3
What is the purpose of life? There isn't an 'ultimate' purpose of life that applies to everyone. But for us brave streettogs, this is my thought:
The purpose of our lives is to devote ourselves to photography.
Use our entire lives, our entire power to make great photos, share great photos, innovate photography, discover new compositions, and push the genre and culture of photography forward!