My morning ritual is usually to sit down with my coffee and play Freecell until my brain wakes up. I want to fix that. I’m so bored of fucking Freecell.
On the heels of this Mentat thing I’ve been kicking around, I decided to take up chess again. I haven’t played seriously in many years, and I’m really rusty.
When I was a kid, I played chess as part of the “enrichment program” as a six year old. Maybe one day I’ll do a whole post on separating the “bright” kids from the rest of the class, but it’s beyond the scope of this one. In any case, that’s where I was introduced to the game of chess.
I approached it like I approach everything. I didn’t study the game in depth, I just learned a bunch of flashy trick openings and was able to roll everyone I played, because no one was really that good. I ended up losing interest in the game because of this, I think.
Much later in life, when I was out on my own and sitting bored in my apartment, I went through a period where I played chess all the time at home, against the computer. I played a little online and usually got rolled.
But I remember feeling like my brain was pumping on all cylinders back then. My brain was trained to think steps ahead, and it helped in everything I did.
That’s why I’m taking chess up again. I’ve got a decent app for my phone, and I’m on the lookout for one for my Windows PC (let me know if you have one). I might just pirate an old copy of Chessmaster or something, that’s what I used to play with.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently midway through my second reading of the Dune series, and I’m afraid I’ve gone too deep.
I’ve had an idea for the site. I’d like to delve into my brain in my free time, tidy the place up, oil the moving parts. In the process, I’m going to share what I’ve learned.
You can call it mind hacks, or whatever you want to. I’m choosing to call it the “Mentat Project.”
I want to teach myself how to learn, how to think critically, among other as yet undefined goals. The first step is deep thought about what it means in the first place.
This will all take place in my meager spare time, so progress will be slow.
I don’t like the way my brain has felt lately. Poor diet, perhaps. Lack of downtime, maybe. I sleep six to seven hours a night, as has been my habit since I can remember, but I never feel rested. Stress. Physical fatigue.
I have no evidence to back up this claim, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.
I was in on the first wave when it started getting some play, but never really got Skrillex. There were a handful of songs on the dubstep Pandora mix that got me, but it just wasn’t my thing overall.
It started popping up in TV and movies, and it works in that way. But then again, so did Industrial ten years ago.
I think it’s dead. Give me a new “dubstep” song that you like and I might change my mind. I think the problem was that so many people thought that they could make the shit, like it’s just noise. But the good ones aren’t just noise, it has a point to it.
Lately I’ve been reading the Dune series for the second time, about halfway through Children of Dune. Before the first reading was even over, it was already a favorite. I’d read it more often, but it takes so long to get through the six books, and I can’t stop with just one, I have to keep reading until I’m through.
If you have an open mind (and I hope you do) there are many things you can take away from the characters and ideas presented in the books.
In the story’s universe exists a group called the Bene Gesserit, a group of (mostly) female warrior scholars devoted to spreading insight to the universe. They aimed to maximize their human potential, and were considered to be “witches” because of the apparent powers this gave them.
One of my favorite things in the books comes from the Bene Gesserit: the Litany Against Fear. I posted it in a semi-stylized format earlier today, and decided to write about it. I find it to be helpful in my life, and think it could be helpful in everyone’s life.