Master of None : #1
I love the name Master of None, both from the common adage and from Azis Ansari’s show. Of course, growing up, it was a damnation to be thought of as Jack-of-all trades, but I find myself easing into it. It is a reasonable definition of a multi-dimensional human.
I contrast this phenotype with that of Masters. Their obsession over a single problem/skill/art makes them typically trade with other aspects of life, but (given all else the same) give a stellar dividend in proficiency, and possibly wealth! I’d even argue, the world is better off for mavericks of this kind!
For a few reasons of nature, and others of nurture, I find myself to be a Master of None. In that spirit, I aim to add to what I write, my disjoint thoughts on the various things going on in life!
I stumbled upon Steve Stewart-Williams on Twitter and picked up his book, the “Ape who understood the universe” this week. Books that use science to present a worldview with which to look at the world hold a special place in my heart! In that sense, it is in the same over-arching genre as Harari’s writings. But, The Ape is not an epic story of where our species came from and where it is going but a more humble exploration of the human animal, it’s evolution and how that past guides it’s destiny in a fairly complicate way.
It touches on what are controversial views in Evolutionary Psychology, talking about sex differences and how they may have evolved, while grounding itself in sound arguments.
Evolution as an anchor for life has been fascinating me recently. Whatever your thoughts on the more debated aspects of the field, certain things remain rather easy to say.
A bunch of Human beings’ needs are in part programmed in our genetics. The way those genes affect behavior is by creating feedback cycles. They make us feel good when we behave in a way, that was selected for in our past, and punish us for behaving in what was selected for as destructive. Thus, smelling poop causes disgust(feedback = stay away) where as eating highly nutritious food when one is hungry, feels great(feedback = get more). Note that food feels great every single time. That’s a reasonable clue that the desire for it is genetic. That can’t be said about the Song on the top of the Billboard top 100. In other words, evolved desires, are novelty-proof.
Now consider being hungry, and the difference between having a nutritious home cooked meal, vs having a bunch of doughnuts and Coke! Assuming you feel equally full in the end, would you agree that there’s a difference in the “quality” of fullness? The same difference that is there between watching TV for 6 hours straight, vs say being out with friends?
The way I’ve started to see life is, that to ask what one wants, knowing what the human hardware on which the less tamed mind runs is important. And I see this all around. People who prioritized moves abroad for career, quickly reported loneliness as being a HUGE botheration to them. Unsurprisingly so, since community and companionship are incredibly important to the human animal. It becomes imperative to ask what actions then align with evolutionary prerogative and what actions demand us to swim against the ones we have inherited.
I’m trying to train myself to be super aware of the cues my body gives me when I eat different foods, and how they make me feel AFTER the rush of dopamine that most modern foods attempt to “hack”. That has started to give me a good guide to what to eat, how to spend my time, and to get WAY more sun than I used to.
No doubt, subjectivity is a roadblock in the objective correctness of my findings. Also, there is a huge variation in what sways people have inherited and how strong those sways are. That enables to let this exploration to be an individual journey, with some guidance and anchoring into specie-level properties.
Tikka ~ Tikki
Burger cravings this weekend made me order a nice batch of minced chicken. I usually use onions, coriander and ginger garlic when I make a basic vegan burger patty out of soya. I usually bind that with grounded oats to make a healthier meal. But this weekend, I was feeling all sorts of naughty! I crumpled some bread and toasted those crumbs for my binder and used my usual marinade.
No prizes for guessing, I got chicken patties that tasted like chicken tikkas. I was probably better of adding cream on top of those and have them as tikkas.
Nevertheless, I soldiered on and added a good amount of Mustard (as opposed to my usual Dhaniya chutney) on the burger and got a reasonable meal out of it.
It is the ultimate bummer when a soaring food craving is met with a food that doesn’t match the fantasy that got you there. Going to put more thought in on the next time! Suggestions on how to make the perfect chicken burger patty will be oh so dearly appreciated!
Progressive overload and all is good, but sustaining it after I think the 15th session becomes a drag. I moved away from my usual 3 times a week full body compound movement program to what my friend calls Bro-Split. It’s push, pull, legs and repeat to get 6 days so that each body part gets recovery while you move your ass everyday!
While I weathered the initial DOMS storm well, I hit my usual roadblock of severely sore and stiff legs. Since Sunday, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time stretching my hamstrings and By God, they stiff! Critically, I have found that in stretches too, technique is everything. After 3 days of stretching them twice a day, I finally saw an increase in mobility!
Kids, learn to stretch before you learn to lift!
Saving more for next time.
Another highlight of this week has been my quitting coffee. That’s a tough enterprise after 10 years of being SUPER into coffee! But I intend to write on that in the next one. Content must come in chains!
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