If there’s somewhere I need to be, I need to start walking. It’s insightful, but it begs a few questions. Do I really understand “where” I need to be (that is to say, what does the word “where” really stand for if I’m to use the proverb)? Is there a path from “here” to “there”? And really sticky question: Are there any true obstacles, like gates with gatekeepers, between “here” and “there”?

The world is full of gatekeepers who think they have veto rights. Don’t believe them. If you need them to invest time or resources then they deserve to have a say, otherwise the responsibility remains with you to decide how to proceed and to suffer the consequences or reap the rewards, as the case may be.

~ Andrew Bosworth from,

There are many ways (metaphorical and literal) to go over, under, around and through gates and gatekeepers. I’ve always visualized the proverbial gatekeeper as part of a structure surrounding something, keeping me out. But why that orientation?

Recall Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide wherein one character builds an asylum for the world; A “house” with the “interior” stuff (carpet, furniture, lights, curtains, etc) on the outside, exposed to the elements, and with a central space with no roof, faced with the exterior parts of a home. In that center was “outside” the asylum and the entire rest of the world was therefore “inside” the asylum thus constructed.

Why aren’t the gatekeepers seen as denying us access to exit? I don’t want “in” to gain access to some resource or some people. I want “out” to regain my freedom.


What the phatic?!

Douglas Adams once said there was a theory that if anyone ever understood the Universe, it would disappear and be replaced by something even more incomprehensible. He added that there was another theory that this had already happened. These sorts of things – things such that if you understand them, they get more complicated until you don’t – are called “anti-inductive”.

~ Scott Alexander from,

A couple decades ago — I still say I have mild Asperger’s syndrome — I would have said, “I do not understand small talk. Stop jaw’in and transmit some useful information.” S-l-o-w-l-y, as I learned how to listen, I’ve come around to the view that there are many useful layers of communication. So, new word for 2018 (for me anyway): phatic.


Time well spent

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it’s just wonderful. And … the opportunity to spend 70 or 80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent as far as I am concerned.

~ Douglas Adams


Something we need to watch out for

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say.

~ Douglas Adams