Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

New year’s resolutions

I updated my personal homepage at the beginning of the new year. Some of the changes were long overdue, like my university student status and the number of diving licenses. But, there were other changes that arose from a more recent insight: that, if I am to reach my goals, I need a plan. A bad plan is better than no plan. And too many goals are as useless as no goals.

Here is my plan as I published it in Januari in verbatim:

This has a plan: to become a happy little 🐷. His tech job at YTEC already keeps him warm and his belly full. (His family 💰 and the 🇳🇱 welfare state helped him along the way.) 🐷 2 + 2 little 🐱🐱 + some 🌿🌴 make 🏠 🏠. And, with all that comfort, ❄️🚿🚿, योगः, 中国武术 and มวยไทย keep the 🐷 from getting .

Homo sapiens is more homonid than sapiens, so the most sapient thing for this H. to do is to take good care of his 🐒-mind. This 🐒 wants (☑), and is very particular about who he keeps ✓ed in this —a ♀ who breaks out of the stupid , and climbs on top of it to 👙💃.

Outside this most private of private bubbles, there are friends and family on call to put into perspective the tribulations that flow from the oft-inflated need to earn societal respect and dominate other ♂♂. At his most ☮️ful, his work and hobbies (i.e., kickboxing & diving) afford him plenty of opportunity to ✓ this ☐, but sometimes he dreams of wider recognition, especially at times of narrow self-respect.

He used to want to grow 📈 indiscriminately in all directions at once (like a ), dreaming of universal admiration and acceptance, being unable to accept—let alone, love—himself. Having since undergone therapy, he can now make the 🐒 feel sufficiently secure to focus on more forms of self-improvement, as long as he pays conscious attention to his need for ♡.

2018’s goal is for him to learn to respect himself, which requires him to ⒜ be deserving of respect, and ⒝ to give himself credit when credit is due. To combat self-sabotage and improve his discipline, he has given himself 3 rules: ① consumption is production; ② the training schedule is sacred; and ③ meditate daily. This may sound harsh, and it is, if he will needlessly beat himself up over any failure to comply. These rules are fairly constant, but there’s also a maximum of 4 assignments, which will change when they’re finished or given up; currently, these 4 are: ⓐ publish 7 6 articles on Sapiens Habitat about PPPermaculture; ⓑ create an Angel prototype and share it with colleagues; ⓒ finish opschoot‘s Mint upgrade; and ⓓ remember 7 new lucid dreams.

Note that there’s no need to work on these assignments; they don’t have a deadline. Deadlines abound in the day job. It’s all about the rule of ④: no more than 4 private projects at the time, to avoid all that free energy from being scattered with purpose nor satisfaction.

Rule ①: consumption is production

My adherence to rule ① has been decent in the beginning but is somewhat mixed at the moment: I’ve tweeted most times that I caught myself scrolling Twitter, but I haven’t written something—even if it’s just a single line—every time I’ve been mindlessly losing myself in the newspaper. Definitely, I need to continue to be vigilant if I want to rid myself of my habit to numb myself with mindless information consumption.

Speaking of production: For some time, I’ve waited with writing more about Annemarie, Laurelin and Nils their permaculture adventures in Portugal ⓐ while making some adjustments to the layout of But, I am now nicely progressing ⓐ with the second article in the series on PPPermaculture: Tree Nurse Nils.

Rule ②: the training schedule is sacred

Rule ② has been somewhat more sacred to me than rule ①, and I’m proud to say that I’ve persisted through quite a bit of boredom. Interestingly, so far, I’ve found adhering to my training schedule easier than making changes to it. The only changes I made were rather minor.

Last week, I decided that I want to pursue some competitive kickboxing bouts. But, that’ll have to wait until I finished one of ⓐ through ⓓ. Otherwise, I’d be violating the rule of ④.

Rule ③: meditate daily

Being mindful instead of running around like a caffeinated chicken is still challenging, in so far as that I don’t feel that I’ve further progressed towards being sufficiently at ease during the day that it has improved my dream content. My dream recall, however, has kind of improved.

There have been days on which I violated rule ③, and these shouldn’t be allowed to multiple. But, it’s also important to remember the spirit of the rule rather than the letter. And that spirit would soar as soon as ⓓ I will have the first of those 7 new lucid dreams.

The rule of ④

The rule of ④ is great. It has already protected me from undertaking ⓔ and ⓕ before finishing ⓐ through ⓓ. It also has a motivating quality, because I’m really itching (literally) to try ⓔ a ketogenic diet again.


Rule ① Rule ② Rule ③
Week Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
20 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½
21 I can not nor want to remember all this shit throughout the week.

Status of auto-assignemts

ⓐ published 5 of first 7 articles about PPPermaculture on
ⓑ create an Angel prototype and share it with colleagues
ⓒ finished opschoot‘s Mint upgrade ☑ on Feb. 22 2018
ⓓ remembered 7 of 7 new lucid dreams ☑ on Jun. 8 2018
ⓔ tried a ketogenic diet again for a week ☑ from Feb. 12–18 2018
ⓕ fight a kickboxing match started in the beginning Mar. 2018,
officially paused at the end of Apr.
ⓖ publish opinion piece about the annual winter-time population crash in the Oostvaardersplassen ☑ on Mar. 14 2018
ⓗ submit an entry for the NRC essay writing competition started on May 26 2018
☑ on Jun. 25 2018
ⓘ something something Magento started on Jun. 8 2018
ⓙ reviewing Myrna her open letter to the Dutch national Health Council embarked on Jun 25. 2018
☑ on Jul. 1 2018
ⓚ sand and paint my bicycle cart waiting for a slot
ⓛ read Annemarie her fairy tale
ⓜ get Hardwood wikis back online and put them up for sale waiting for a slot
ⓝ redesign accidentally started on Aug. 27


  1. Rowan Rodrik

    I’m in the last day of a ketogenic week ⓔ, and I’m wondering if this indeed was a violation of my rule of ④, since I yet have to finish ⓐ, ⓑ, ⓒ, or ⓓ. 11 days ago, I must have thought it was; but then I changed my mind. The excuse I used was that this was not so much a project as it was a lifestyle tweak that I thought would magically multiple my available energy, like last time, in Februari 2017. (Yes, also Februari.) Instead of getting extra non-sleep time and energy, I spent more time on meal prep and was often unenergetic and unfocussed, due to bad meal planning and my overal lack of experience with ketogenesis.

    Conclusion: I was right to turn this into a project ⓔ, because it diverged my energy away from ⓐ–ⓓ. And I really should finish one of ⓐ, ⓑ, ⓒ, or ⓓ before I embark on ⓕ.

    To end on a positive note: I did get some work done on the next Sapiens Habitat article. Plus, I accommodated the extension of the PPPermaculture series with some lay-out additions.

  2. Rowan Rodrik

    Yesterday, early morning, I finished opschoot‘s Mint upgrade ⓒ, just in time for the kickboxing competition assessment that marks the beginning of ⓕ.

  3. Rowan Rodrik

    My compliance to rule ① and ③ has been faltering. Especially when it comes to YouTube, I’m weaseling out of rule ① so often that information consumption hinders creativity, and even assimilation. Much of what I have jotted down in my A5 notebook in the past few months—and I haven’t been writing much—are auto-confessions about not complying to rule ① and ③ enough. YouTube and Twitter are the worst offenders, although I stick to rule ① better when scrolling Twitter than when I lose myself in YouTube. Facebook I’ve hardly been using for some time, and I wouldn’t be even able to since I’ve said: “Bye, bye, Facebook”.

    Let me enumerate my progress on my current assignments:

    ⓐ 4 out of 6 articles on PPPermaculture are published. In March, a Twitter mob that was outraged about dying animals in the Oostvaardersplassen triggered me into violating the rule of ④ by ⓖ pissing all over Henk Bleker and Britt Dekker—two public figures in the Netherlands that made everything worse.

    ⓑ Sometimes, before or during office hours (unpaid (for now?)), I’ve tinkered with Angel/BULL a bit, not to great effect. Instead of trying to finish the syntaxis, I’ve been pushing ahead with two renewerd attempts at a parser implementation—one in C++ and one in Pyhon. Both are stuck more on parser design analysis paralysis than on unclarities in the language design. The real progress have been emotional—in that I’ve been doing some thinking on my office whiteboard and that I’ve continued to discuss the language ideas with colleagues.

    Especially after our latest work holiday in Portugal, I found it difficult to get back to using the same tired, old tools for my job. Actually, even more than working on ⓑ, I’ve been itching to continue the 6 articles for ⓐ and then some more (like Chainsaw emancipation).

    ⓓ My dreams haven’t gotten clearly clearer. And I’ve often by-passed ③ my meditation practice by trying to substitute it by merely mindful moments. The interlocking effect of -③ and -① have kept me stuck at the 2 lucid dreams mark for many months in a row now.

    ⓕ Although, just before Marilisa’s and mine March holiday, I got permission to start training for the ring at Aihato, I fucked up both my shoulder (further) and my hand before we got to Portugal, and both haven’t gotten much better since. This interlocks with my training schedule, which I’ve been half-heartedly adhering to ②, but which (after more than half a year of dumbly executing it) I really need to tune to advance the gymnastic strength and flexibility that I believe will insulate me against injuries.

  4. Rowan Rodrik

    On Sunday morning I had my third lucid dream since embarking on ⓓ. I didn’t feel a lot of freedom in the dream, but I was aware that it was a dream. So 4 more to go.

    On Monday I rewrote the training schedule for Monday and Tuesday. The rest I still want to change to be more fun and effective.

  5. Rowan Rodrik

    The training schedule I’ve still not completely rewritten. I’ve been letting go of the specifics though, to make it a bit more playful and encounter new ideas. Sticking to the ol’ regiment was making things too sombre.

  6. Rowan Rodrik

    I’m going to violate the rule of 4 again by embarking on the writing of an essay before I emptied one of the slots. It’s for a competition, and it has a deadline.

  7. Rowan Rodrik

    “I’m going to violate the rule of 4 again by embarking on the writing of an essay ⓗ before I emptied one of the slots. It’s for a competition, and it has a deadline.”

    Actually, it’s not a violation, since I’ve put ⓕ on pause until my left shoulder has healed.

  8. Rowan Rodrik

    Yesterday evening, I starting fooling around with Magento ⓘ. I was allowed to because in the morning I remembered my seventh lucid dream ⓓ. The reason I’m not using fucusing this extra energy on Angel/BULL is that the Magento project I’m contributing to might be more lucrative on the mid term. Even if I can finish the BULL prototype ⓑ soon, it’s going to be a long time until I’ve convinced YTEC (or some other company) to invest in it and make it viable to be paid for a software technology that I can actually believe in. (I really don’t believe in the long-term viability of any of the software technologies that I know.)

  9. Rowan Rodrik

    “I’m going to violate the rule of 4 again by embarking on the writing of an essay ⓗ before I emptied one of the slots. It’s for a competition, and it has a deadline.”

    Actually, it’s not a violation, since I’ve put ⓕ on pause until my left shoulder has healed.

    A little before 1 AM, I submitted Het eerste gebod, which is about my idea that the gods are microbes.

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