Obviously we are not living in a simulation, but if you think about the MATRIX, one of the most interesting things to consider is the interesting metaphor towards life.
First, I think everyone is running on the same social scripts. As a consequence, people just tend to be very boring. I’ve actually found that the reason why most people are so boring is that they either lack exposure, or courage.
Second, we are conditioned by fear. Lot of what holds us back is fear; and also ethics.
Even one thing I was considering, why is it that sex, erotic matters, nudity etc.… is seen as so bad, taboo and evil? Technically if we can go from purely biologic perspective, it doesn’t really matter. Do we shame animals for being naked all the time or doing it in public, not really.
Or horses; let us consider stallions in heat, and their behavior.
I think when I consider my behavior, my thinking and worldview, being raised Catholic, Roman Catholic, and also being born and raised in America, notions of Catholic guilt, and also Confucian guilt… and also Korean Korean American culture… not the most open-minded worldview.
I am very happy fortunate and blessed that my mom was very contrarian, very unorthodox, even for being a Korean mom. I would definitely say her ethos was very unique; very independent, solo, self-reliant etc.
In fact, how did I become who I am? I think 90% of it was the socialization of my mom. She is the one who taught me social skills and not to fear people. Funny enough, sometimes she is too naïve to a fault; but ultimately I would prefer my mom— better to be happy joyful and naïve than to be like a scarecrow, overly suspicious and cold towards the world.
“Better to be a gay monster than a sentimental bore.” – Galiani
First, become more loud ostentatious, more “ratchet“. Be the big swinging dick (Michael Lewis, Flash Boys).
Second, throw politically correct vocabulary into the trash, and be maximally suspicious of any “woke” talk. My heuristic:
“Don’t trust any woke people who toke!”
Haha. Toke means smoke weed.
Also, the critical of anybody who has too strong of a political affiliation to any side, spends too much time on Facebook and social media etc. Anybody who consumes media, or gossip, has un-unique thinking. Ultimately my thoughts about people and thoughts is simple; there are interesting people and boring people. No good or bad people. In fact, most good people are insanely boring. A lot of bad people also tend to be boring.
Just be the real life troll
Trolling on the internet is bad. However I think trolling in real life is good.
After becoming a ChatGPT master, I’m starting to understand that we should literally put 0% faith of anything we see or read on the Internet. Why? It is truly impossible to tell whether something was written by ChatGPT or not, or if the original text was written by ChatGPT, and then a human just edited it afterwards.
For example for fun, I made two ChatGPT bots, in the spirit of ERIC KIM. It is actually both hilarious and scary how good they are —
- Stoic philosophy: ZEN OF ERIC
- Photography: ERIC KIM BOT](https://chat.openai.com/g/g-6UuzfnRjq-eric-kim-bot)
How do you troll people in real life? Joke around, laugh, have fun, talk like a seven-year-old or five-year-old child, never give people a straight answer. Lie about funny things in a playful gist.
For example, a lot of people try to be friendly by asking me how old Seneca is. Sometimes I will joke and say “He is six months old!” (He is 2 years, 9 months old). Some people become shocked and their eyes go really wide, and then I just joke that he is on steroids.
Also, everybody loves a good compliment. Doesn’t matter if man or women etc. I love people, and so whenever I see people having a certain outfit or look that I like, I always try to make it a point to compliment them.
Just try this out as an experiment: for a whole day: whenever you see somebody that you like, compliment them. Compliment their hair their outfit their look etc. Or inquire about their outfit, where they got it, etc.
Second, throw your AirPods and airbuds pros into the trash. I think one of the most terrible things for modern day society, which atrophies our social skills is everyone always having AirPods on. Real men don’t use headphones or AirPods or whatever. If you’re going to listen to music, use a Bluetooth speaker or play it off your phone speaker and blast it like a person from the hood.
In fact, I’m starting to hypothesize that in fact, it might be music, Spotify, and noise canceling headphones which is the driving cause to have people become more antisocial. Not phones and social media, the headphones.
Also as an experiment, the next time you go to the gym and lift weights, do it without any music or headphones on. You will actually benefit by naturally trying to block out all the annoying elevator music, and annoying chitchat of other people. Ultimately it makes you more interesting to NOT wear headphones than to wear them.
Also, how do you know if somebody is actually really interesting or not? When you go to the gym, filter people into two categories:
People who work out without headphones, and people who do.
I only trust people who work out without headphones on.
- Street portrait assignment: start a street portrait project in which you’re just trying to capture interesting faces of people in your own city or locale. You can complement people by telling them that they have a beautiful face, or great skin, or if they’re older… You could tell them that they have an elegant face and look. PDF
- If people ask you what you’re doing, say that you’re starting a personal photography project of the people of the city, and you consider them as integral to your project.
- Download some ERIC KIM books, or attend an ERIC KIM workshop.
The sun is out, the sun is bright! Your future awaits you.
And also, when in doubt, smile.
Some more turbo thoughts:
HOW SHOULD WE LIVE OUR LIVES?
First, unshackle yourself from superficial ethics, morality, uncritical religious edicts, etc.
The more I think about it… honestly all these modern day “ethics”, “rules”, are bad.
Especially in America, which is a strange chimera of thinking.
Why do people try to superimpose how we should or how we should not live our lives?
For example, when we think and consider the difference between shared, co-living spaces and places, versus communal things, versus the common.
For example, let us say that I am living with you, and you prefer things a certain way, and I prefer things a certain way. Who should have the ultimate say?
A simple heuristic: If I am by myself, you should not intrude on my space and do things differently, tell me what to do or what not to do.
Second, if we are sharing the space and you prefer things a certain way, and your request seems reasonable enough, I will acquiesce to you, and I will simply leave the space.
I think the big issue is when we try to superimpose our will upon others.
For example, let us say that I love to eat meat. That I am 100%, unabashed carnivore. That it is against my beliefs to eat vegetables or plants or fruit or grains or anything which reeks of a “plant-based diet“. Funny enough, nowadays it is 100% fine to show up to a party and tell people that “I don’t eat meat“, and low-key expect to be served vegetarian or vegan food… but it isn’t mainstream to show up to a party saying “I don’t eat vegetables“, and low-key expect to be fed meat.
Also, I kind of get the low-key feeling that a lot of vegetarians or zealous vegans are trying to get everyone to stop eating meat, to become like them, become vegan etc. That they try to guilt or shame meat eaters like myself that what we do is bad evil and is “bad for the planet“.
However, I haven’t really seen the opposite; when I shame a vegan for being cruel to immigrant farm workers who have to pick almonds all day, and how almonds, their almond butter, their cashews, cashew nut butters etc. is “bad for the planet“, because of how water hungry these plants are.
Why don’t we just leave other people alone?
For example, I think one thing I have discovered about myself is that I am a little bit of a tyrant. I attribute this to my upbringing; I was the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son, and as a consequence, being raised, I was treated like the king. Whenever I would go to my grandma, she would always acquiesce to my needs and desires and shower me with endless praise, brag about how handsome and successful I was in front of all of her friends, etc.
So the big issue that I have is that myself, I see myself as king, emperor, and I expect other people to treat me a certain way. I expect and demand and find a critical that other people greet me, when I enter, when I leave, and to treat me with High respect and royalty. When they do not do this, it infumes my anger.
But the biggest issue is that you cannot force other people to treat you a certain way, or to greet you a certain way. For example, if I show up, I cannot demand other people to address me a certain way, or to greet me, etc. Similarly speaking, When I leave, I cannot demand other people say goodbye to me or greet me goodbye. That is tyranny.
This is where I think modern day stuff is little bit bad; you cannot force me to talk to you a certain way, to greet you a certain way, to address you a certain way, etc. If you don’t like the way I talk to you or about you… You just walk away or don’t interact with me. Doesn’t this make more sense?
Who tells us what to do what not to do?
First and foremost, who was Confucius? Essentially he was a petty governmental official, and I believe it was later the scholar bureaucrat Mencius who codified his belief system, just kind of like how Paul did for Jesus… and they create this new pseudo, strange, hydra of a world view and order.
For example, Confucianism, the state mandarin examinations, and all of these pseudo religious rules that Confucius put forth, like philial piety, respect for elders, etc.… The main purpose was a form of social control and order and harmony. It was a useful tool for the king emperor or the aristocracy to keep the commoners in check.
Similarly speaking, St. Paul, was a very strange case. Just read about him from Nietzsche and his book “The Antichrist”. The general gist is that Saint Paul was a tormented soul, and he was seeking salvation somewhere else. He discovered Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, and bastardized them in a strange, miss mashed way. He almost escaped coated Jesus for his own downings and faults, and could not come to ends why things happened a certain way they did.
The chosen people
A concept I came upon recently, which is very interesting and fascinating to me, is this notion of “the chosen people“. I’m curious… is this zero sum? That some people are chosen, and some are not? Are they chosen based on their blood, their lineage, their parents, their family heritage and background, or something else?
And also, if I am chosen, does it mean that you’re not chosen? That, somehow I take up your spot? The notion that in the afterlife, there is only a limited number of spots, let us say 5000 or something, and that only a select number of people are allowed entrance?
You control you
So there are certain things I have learned and observed about life, the world, etc.
First, certainly there are certain people and individuals who are born with a leg up in life. For example, if I was born, and my dad was worth $20 billion, and from a young age I knew that I had a trust fund, which would not be able to be unlocked until I am 65 years old, maybe a part of $100 million… certainly this would change how I live my life.
Also, let us say that I am born and my family is very well-connected. Let us say that my father or mother is a famous Hollywood actor or producer or director… certainly if my passion is cinema film and media, I will also be given better connections and privileges.
But… Does this matter? I don’t think so.
My favorite example is thinking about Jay Z. Would Jay Z have become a Jay Z if he were born to a nice, middle-class family in the suburbs? Highly dubious.
Also, something that I learned is that not always, but often… people entrepreneurs etc. who are born to very difficult childhood situations are the ones who become interesting.
For example, Jeff Bezos, just read his book “invent and wander,” hearing his family story, I think his dad was essentially a Cuban refugee, is insanely fascinating. I think the best thing that Jeff Bezos said, which actually emotionally moved me so much is that when he talks about his father, his “my real father, not my biological one”— it was so beautiful I almost teared up!
Also, read the new Walter Isaacson biography on Elon Musk; I think Elon Musk probably had one of the most traumatic childhood of all time… Somehow those experiences forged him into what he is today.
Same thing with Kanye West; more or less having a single mom, an absentee father, and also, the tragic early passing of his mother Donda… Certainly this shapes your psyche in a certain way.
I don’t wish trauma on nobody
Just because you have suffered more trauma in your life doesn’t make you more virtuous than me, and vice versa. However, I don’t think we should either use it as a crutch nor a motivator… We should just pause it our desired life path, and proceed boldly.
Obstacles are your boost?
Whenever you witness or experience a certain setback, obstacle, “downside“… Think about Mario kart; these “setbacks“ are like your temporary speed boost!
In fact, even though not having things a certain way is insanely annoying, I think this is the root of all innovation. For example, my insane frustration with trying to find a good gym… Essentially resulted in me innovating and doing my funny “off the grid” workouts.
Similar speaking, starting off in photography, 18-19 years old, not being able to find any good information on the Internet on how to do photography and Street photography and composition is actually what motivated my pursuits to create the information I wish to see manifested in the world.