The Most Beautiful Thoughts That You Can Have

When there is a campfire and it is sprinkling; imagine a single raindrop falling from the clouds straight onto the center of the fire, but evaporating into vapor before it gets there.

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All the people and animals are just doing their own thing now. They are going about their own separate lives even though you are just sitting here reading this. You don’t have to do anything, the world will go on.

(It’s nice to think of all the animals out there being happy when you are just laying down relaxing, and I do this whenever I can.)

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Go on Google Maps and look at your home or one of your previous houses. So much of your life, your emotions, your work, your happiness, your realisations has been within this one place.

Now zoom out and look at all the other people’s homes. Zoom out further and further.

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When you die and everyone you knew dies, you will be completely forgotten and everything you have done in your entire life will not matter anymore. That’s peaceful….

it means you shouldn’t worry so much about achievement and failure.

Some find this thought frightening however. It depends on the person. Here is a Reddit comment that leans more towards the latter:

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The person you love saying your name

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People always do what they see as the best thing they can be doing at any moment. When someone is with you, that is what they see as being the best thing they can do right now

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Beauty is everywhere in this world, but it needs a person to appreciate it otherwise it is just wasted. There is always a good reason for taking a moment to just look at something beautiful.

Being A Man Who Is Scared

Real men like Arnold Schwarzenegger don’t get scared—at least in films like The Terminator in which his never-say-die character is actually so masculine that he is not human. He peels back his skin to reveal that he is not in fact a man inside—he is machine. Real men don’t have a mechanic drive to do their duty, they have feelings, doubts and all the non-single-minded thoughts that make us human. But it goes even deeper than that. The Terminator is not even an animal. That’s why he struggles to feel anything during the film. Even the most basic mammals experience fear in response to a threat. This fear is what motivates animals to take action—fight or flight. A man who experiences fear is just a natural non-sociopathic person; but a man who takes action is a man.

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway
–John Wayne

When picturing a ‘real man’, a far better choice is John Wayne. John Wayne, the star of the great Western films of the mid-20th century like True Grit who helped define what it meant to be a man in our culture. He was a man of few words, but when he said something he meant it. He rarely revealed his emotions, but when he did, you knew it was serious. John Wayne’s characters were idealised men, but they were certainly believable ones. He rarely let his face reveal his fear, instead, you could just see his eyes narrow, as he increased his concentration. But you knew he had fear, because the scene before he was sentimentally telling his fiancee that he might not be seeing her again. So much of John Wayne’s appeal is the extent to which he is conscious of the relationship between fear and courage. Fear doesn’t automatically mean low courage. Instead, courage is when you have fear, but you narrow your eyes and try even harder at what you are doing.

Fight Vs Flight

From what we have just been saying, it seems clear that if you want to be a man, when the adrenaline starts coursing you always pick fight.

But is this true?

John Wayne always picks fight. That is another implication of the above quote—that even though your brain is telling you that something is unsafe, that you should do it anyway because you are a man of principle—and courage, honour and dignity are some of your principles. Well if so, then no one is going to tell you that you are not a man. Many men have become legends due to dying horrible and needless deaths. But honestly, if being a man requires this much, then is it worth it?

Fight vs flight are the two options available to us in nature for a reason. The availability of the second option of flight opens up an entire range of alternative resolutions to a situation to a man, and some of them are usually going to be smarter, better and more survival-orientated. It’s a bit hard to argue that upholding your dignitity against perilous odds and dying a violent death is not the most manly thing to do, but most men alive today retain some dignity by just backing down, stating how much smarter, better and more survival-orientated this makes them and going back to their families.

The Old Hemingway Defence

Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway are both brilliant writers who are known for their masculine writing style and masculine real-world personalities. But, they both have one other thing in common: they drank a lot. Hemingway struggled with alcohol from the age of 15 until his suicide at age 61, and Stephen King had a rampant alcohol and substance abuse problem that reached a head during the 1980’s. Self-destructive behaviour is unfortunately very masculine in our society, which is a reason that both these writers used to justify their habits. King writes that he “employed the world-famous Hemingway Defense… [which] goes something like this: as a writer, I am a very sensitive fellow, but I am also a man, and real men don’t give in to their sensitivities. Only sissy-men do that. Therefore I drink. How else can I face the existential horror of it all and continue to work? Besides, come on, I can handle it. A real man always can.” As great writers, both were very sensitive men, yet being sensitive in itself is not un-manly. John Wayne shows that, when he is repeatedly characterised as having a strong relationship with a wife and children. But, it is that this sensitivity can cause fear that these writers have a problem with.

Most recovering male alcoholics will realise the contradiction in the Hemingway defence as I’m sure Stephen King now does. It is that courage means facing fear head-on, taking it like a man and continuing on despite it. Whereas it is less manly to quell this fear not with your own courage, but with a chemical comfort.

How To Come Out On Top Even If People Know You Are Scared

The ultimate way to prove yourself as a man is of course: success. If you look scared as hell, but you get up, keep going and achieve something fantastic then people will respect that. For instance, if you write about your existential fears like Hemingway and Stephen King and then become an immensely succesful writer, men are going to idolise you the world over.

But this kind of conclusion probably does more bad than good. Because success is never assured, and a guy reading this may get more scared by the immense pressure it places on success. So, even without success, the way to maintain your male dignity is to just be your best—and I have never met anyone for whom this is not good enough (except maybe people for whom there were few social expectations for, but who still were respected for doing their best). That means: saddle up anyway, but play it smart, flee if you need to, survive above all and don’t make any excuses for destroying yourself.

What You Have, Gain, Lose and Lack At Each Stage In Your Life


Life has its ups and downs, and always will. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the negative parts of our life instead of all the positives, until times change and the positives turn into negatives and vice versa. So that you can start focusing on the positives of your age now, plus prepare for the future, we have compiled this list.

Baby (0–1 years)

Let’s start right at the beginning. This is what you had, gained, lost and lack in your first year of life:

Had: everything is new and extremely exciting, you feel an overwhelming sense of being-taken-cared-for, you don’t even know what work is, no uncomfortable self-reflection

Gained: basic understanding of world and body, connection to parents and family, crawling

Lacked: at times you feel very vulnerable and scared because you don’t know what is going on, you can’t think complex thoughts, you have almost no knowledge, you have no control over the situation

Lost: there is nothing to lose yet

Toddler–Preschooler (1–4 years)

You are starting to make some serious progress:

Had: everything is still about having fun and playing and feeling super pumped-up on dopamine

Gained: crawling, walking, talking, independence, friends

Lacked: control over situation

Lost: a degree of parental care and attention

Primary School (5–12 years)

Had: everything is still super interesting and fun, still engaged with world in a way that you can only be if you lack self-reflection, most children are extremely healthy

Gained: first serious friends

Lacked: ability to go anywhere except school or home without your parents

Lost: now you have to do work for the first time (at school)

High School (12–18 years)

Had: still lots of free time and lunch breaks

Gained: emotional depth, romantic feelings and even relationships, ability to go places without your parents, some choice in what work you do

Lacked: income, wealth, clear thinking, worldly knowledge, perspective, more susceptible to mental health issues

Lost: a lot of the ‘joy of childhood’, you gained an uncomfortable sense of self-reflection, awkward changes in body, starting doing some serious work, being ‘cute’

University (18–~20 years)

Had: lots of vacations, a lot of the world is still very new and interesting, your life still has a lot of potential and possibility, not much responsibility, most young adults enjoy very good health

Gained: independence, lots of choice, alcohol, serious romantic relationships, rising intelligence, clearer thinking, less teenage anxiety and improving mental health, physical attractiveness

Lacked: money, still very structured lifestyle

Lost: now things have more consequences educationally, financially, romantically and legally, education costs a lot of money now, much less free time

Young Adulthood (~20–40 years)

Had: relatively good health

Gained: money, responsibility, knowledge, stability, independence, no institutional structure anymore, committed relationships

Lacked: many adults start to get bored and lack fun in their lives, much less free time

Lost: there is more responsibility now, more boredom, brain function starts to decline

Middle Adulthood (40–65 years)

Had: wealth, stability, experience

Gained: mental health, better understanding of how to be happy, money, the world has become more advanced since you were younger, starting a family

Lacked: there is a lot of responsibility on you, but unless you have a health/debt/other serious problem, you should have it good

Lost: trend of declining health and cognitive function, some loss of physical attractiveness, sometimes decline in intimacy in relationships, less things that are still novel and exciting to you

Older Adulthood (65+ years)

Had: knowledge, respect, accomplishment, lack of anxiety over future

Gained: acceptance, reduced workload, seeing your family grow up and live their own life

Lacked: some lack money, intimacy, mental and physical health

Lost: eventually, we will all lose everything in our life, but thankfully if you have reached a good age, then you can have a sense of acceptance and a real understanding of how to best spend your time

The Most Effortful Pointless Things Ever Done


The things that have purpose in life are scarcely entertaining: work, study and human decency. But the things which truly astound us are usually completely pointless. Here are some things that will amaze you because of the insane amounts of effort that was devoted to something so utterly useless.

Incredibly Serious And High Commitment Hobbies

These people must live extremely exhausting lives, because their chosen hobbies are way more intense than most jobs.

  • Chuck Lamb the Dead Body Guy (Graphic Content) takes elaborate pictures of himself playing dead. He is not an actor, has no experience and just seems to enjoy the morbid thrill of pretending to be dead.
  • The guys that make the most amazing Lego machines ever created, requiring actual programming and engineering skill. But basically, all of these machines do absolutely nothing useful.
  • Paul Yarrow—the guy that appears in the background on TV not really doing anything, just feeling safe in the knowledge that he is on TV.

The ‘Long Difficult Novel’

The Long Difficult Novel is something that is so much a cultural phenomenon that people talk about it as the LDN on Goodreads sometimes. It includes books such as Ulysses, Finnegans Wake and Gravity’s Rainbow. These are all literary masterpieces no doubt, but as a form of relaxation or efficient way of absorbing knowledge they are pretty useless. Hence their main function in society is: accumulating cultural capital as a basis for making an ass out of yourself.

Conceptual Art

It is true that ‘All art is quite useless’, but some is more useless than others. Some art doesn’t make a political point and doesn’t really teach you anything, but that’s ok because it’s still a beautiful artwork, and this is what Oscar Wilde was talking about. What didn’t exist in his time was conceptual art which isn’t even necessarily beautiful. It is created to demonstrate some abstract concept, so is artistic on a theoretical level. For instance:

  • A large pyramid of oranges
  • Two men just standing there
  • Pictures of the artist himself posing in awkward positions on some uncomfortable cubes
  • A collage that is meant to resemble a high-school homework assignment on multiculturalism

These are good artworks in theory….

Not Entirely Necessary Jobs That Exist In Modern First-World Countries

The economic prediction of John Maynard Keynes in 1930 never came true: that we will by the turn of the millennium achieve the 15-hour work week. Instead, we kept working the same hours, but creating whole new professions where they were never before seen to be needed. This holds moral and psychological concerns, but notwithstanding, some of these new jobs are quite funny:

  • Pet psychologist, pet groomer, dog-washer and most pet service professions
  • A lot of mid-level managers and administrators
  • A lot of assistants
  • A lot of data-entry workers who can clearly see how to automate their jobs but don’t because this would make them redundant, or do automate their jobs and then just sit around doing nothing in the office
  • Elevator operator

War

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Esolangs

An ‘esolang’ is an ‘esoteric programming language’ i.e. a programming language with little practical value created as a proof-of-concept, a joke or even as art. Most of these languages are ridiculously hard to code in and look like a system malfunction, but many of them are extremely smart and interesting in concept and amazing in the way that they can theoretically be used to code anything (are ‘Turing Complete’). Here is a list of most of the non-joke esolangs and here are the joke ones.

Some of the coolest ones that I’ve seen are:

Brainfuck

The most famous esolang, because it is extremely terse and conceptually pure, making it a key touch-point in programming theory and even affording it some usefulness in rare cases. It operates like a Turing Machine—a tape containing symbols that tell the ‘interpreter’ to jump to different places on the tape.

This prints ‘Hello World’:

++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.

Befunge

Similar to brainfuck, but is on a 2D grid rather than a 1D tape.

This Befunge program converts text to CamelCase:

152p > ~ : 25*- #v_ @               >48*-v                    >152p $         v
				 > :: "`"` \"{"\` * |    > :: "@"` \"["\` * ! |    >    v
									>    ^                    >52g |    >052p,v
																   >48*+^
	 ^                                                                        <
 ( )
  |
  was last character a space (5,2)

.Gertrude

Is written in poetry resembling the work of Gertrude Stein. The average length of each word and the length of each line are used to calculate a fraction that then determines the function of each line. E.g. 22/23 → ‘Or’

Here is just a snippet of this verbose language:

Winged to be winged means that white is yellow and pieces pieces that are
brown are dust color if dust is washed off then it is choice that is to say
it is fitting cigarettes sooner than paper.
A CARAFE THAT IS A BLIND GLASS.
Suppose they are put together suppose that there is an interruption

10 Words That Will Broaden Your Thinking (Not Just Synonyms)


Firstly, What Words Should We Learn? What Is The Best Way To Increase Your Vocabulary?

Expanding your vocabulary is always a great thing but often it is not the best use of your time. Knowing all the synonyms of ‘obsequious’ will probably not improve your life that much. The reason is: you already know the word, you can already use it in your talking and thinking, so you don’t need a new one except for special cases when you can just use the thesaurus. My mentality is, that there are too many words in the English language to know all of them. The 2nd Edition Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words (Source) (it is 20 volumes long). And that is not counting obsolete words and words from specialist fields. So therefore, we should be selective in what words we learn……..

Try not to waste your time learning words that are:

  • Synonyms
  • Antiquated
  • Not useful

And if you are going to learn a word, it’s best if it is:

  • Not synonymous with any word you know. It has a new meaning for you.
  • Not antiquated, so therefore it would not be strange for you to use it in writing.
  • Useful. Some words are very non-synonymous but too specific for it to ever be likely that you will use them.

Here Are Some Useless Words For Your Amusement (Make Sure You Don’t Learn Any Of These, You Will Feel Bad About It)

  • Defenestration (n.): the act of throwing someone or something out of a window.
  • Doddard (n.): a tree that is missing its top branches through rot or decay.
  • Quincunx (n.): an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its centre (⁙).
  • Aglet (n.): the plastic coating at the end of a shoelace.
  • Jentacular (adj.): pertaining to breakfast.
  • Tarantism (n.): an illness characterized by the sudden urge to dance.
  • Xylopolist (n.): someone who sells wood.

Ok that’s enough.

How Can Words Make You Think In New Ways?

Our conscious mind thinks in words, at least in a large part. It is words that categorise the world around us into objects that we can understand. Without a word for ‘tree’, we would still be able to distinguish and recognise trees. But, for an abstract concept like ‘bumbling’, recognising this distinct quality in people’s manner would be more rare and less clear. If we then learned this word, we would possibly have a moment of realisation of this thing that we realised was there all along but we didn’t focus on it.

Words That Will Make You Recognise New Things In The World, That You May Have Already Recognised In A Less Conscious Way

Limerance (n.): unreciprocated and obsessive romantic attraction to another person.

Many people have experienced the heartrenching feeling of limerance in their lifetimes and it’s surprising that this word isn’t more well-known. We use terms like ‘infatuation’, but none that capture the discomfort of this mental state and how unhealthy it can become.

Pedant (n.): a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.

We know people like this. Now we know what to call them.

Mellifluous (adj.): a sound that is sweet and smooth; pleasing to hear.

The word itself sounds nice.

(The word mellifluous is mellifluous.)

Sonorous (adj.): an opposingly deep and full sound.

Ditto.

Moribund (adj.): at the point of death; in a dying state, close to death.

This can be used to refer to something which is on the verge of death or to the state of being almost at death, which is something that is interesting to imagine.

Iridescent (adj.): showing luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles.

This is a word for some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. You can look up ‘iridescent’ on Google Images and see some of my favourite things that I didn’t previously know the adjective for.

Oblivion (n.): the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening around you.

This is another state that we have all experienced, and now with this word we can reflect on this unique sensation.

Facetious (adj.): treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant.

Asides from being so useful, it has the useless quality of possessing all five vowels in alphabetical order exclusively.

Flâneur (n.): a person who saunters around observing society; an idler; dawdler; loafer

In Situationist theory, people sometimes walk around taking in their urban environment in philosophical ways. But otherwise, this word just means someone who is rather aimless and lazy.

Salacious (adj.): having or conveying undue or indecent interest in sexual matters.

This is a very neccesary word.

5 Ways To Make People Love-Hate You


If you want to be the kind of person who elicits strong feelings from others—not necessarily good feelings, gets attention, creates allure and gets people talking about you and trying to work you out when you aren’t listening—then this article is for you. This is about playing tricks on people’s emotions. If you want to have a complicated personality that confuses, disconcerts and excites people and doesn’t necessarily make others feel good then this article is for you. Whether this will make you a more loved or hated is questionable, and whether this is a nice way to be with other people is doubtful. Whether this will make you a good person is unlikely.

Just to be clear, these are ways to make people love-hate you. This is not a list of ways to make people just hate you—which is a far less complex feeling and far easier to elicit. To make people hate you, just start saying stupid jokes over them when they are talking and get really loud if they don’t stop. Or be really germophobic and constantly act disgusted when others do things when eating but then have no regard for your own hygiene and constantly do gross things at the table and never clean up. This could be another massive list in itself but really, all this is just instinct….

Here is the actual list:

1. Act Better Than People

One of the most important elements in the love-hate relationship is envy. It is something that we have all felt and the object of countless stories the feeling of contempt for those who have more. It’s a hypocritical feeling, because you hate the person who you want to be. The most common examples are love-hatred of the rich, famous, successful, intelligent. Basically, most people hate their idols.

The challenge with this is actually convincing people that you are better than them. It’s easy if you are actually better than people but if you aren’t, you have to do some jedi mind tricks. Exert supreme confidence with what you are saying. Hype it up to seem grand, putting it in the perspective of history, culture, religion or another bandwagon. Hopefully you can convince people that they should envy your money/art/coolness/personality even if it isn’t that great.

You could also ‘humble brag’, which is when you constantly brag about yourself in a way like you are trying to make out it’s a bad thing. Like you’re getting too skinny and it’s hard to eat enough to put on weight with your busy important schedule.

Or you could straight-out lie. For instance, many people make up little white lies about themselves to make themselves seem more interesting to strangers and even to their friends. You can do the same thing but think bigger.

2. Be Self-Assured

Following on from the last point, confidence makes people hate you in itself almost. People envy confidence because it isn’t all that human. It is something that you see in movies and in famous people. It is larger than life. Very few people think of themselves as confident people—because we all have self-reflective thoughts constantly that question ourselves. Confident people seem like they don’t have that. They are engaged with the situation, they are in control, they are clear-headed, they are relaxed and they feel good. It is something truly to envy.

Some people seem confident all the time. They hold beliefs and do things that we see the faults in yet they don’t question them. They are self-assured; and this is a thing that we detest because we know it feels good but that they don’t deserve it. What they are doing/thinking should be questioned because it is not right.

3. Be Controlling

People want freedom, but they also want to be taken care of. This is a really basic psychological complex stemming from childhood: the independence-dependence conflict. People will verbally protest you controlling them and giving them orders—in a relationship, in the workplace, in a friendship, etc. But in some cases this will be a front—so they can assert their claim to independence but unconsciously succumb to your authority.

This kind of thing comes to play a lot in relationships and politics especially. For instance, many women feel an attraction to men who are dominating, even though these women may be very liberal in their views. It doesn’t make them hipocrites, it just reveals a discrepancy between thinking and feeling. By controlling people, you may make them think they hate you but deep down they may love you and constantly be drawn to you.

4. Be Indifferent

The first rule of being cool is: act like you don’t care. People start to think—that guy has better things to do than to talk to me, that guy has been in way worse situations than this, that guy knows what he’s doing without even trying, etc. It’s a typical tactic for getting people to think that you’re better and for seeming self-assured. So for these aforementioned reasons, acting indifferent can make people kind of hate you, but also do everything to get what little there is of your attention to go around.

5. Be Flawed

Being perfect would work too (see point 1), but being flawed can actually make people see their own flaws reflected back at themselves, and this is one of the most uncomfortable feelings, because people conveniently can’t see themselves unless they are in front of a mirror. To make people love-hate you for your flaws, you have to be flawed in a way that people can relate to. For instance, many people that hate kids dislike them because they see aspects of what they were like when they were that age and they realise that those aspects may still be in themselves to this day. Many of the best empathetic flaws are really juvenile and they have this same effect. For instance, whining about everything. Sometimes this is considered so relatable that people love it even thought they are annoyed.

9 Surrealist Word Games To Play With Friends And For Inspiration


These are all serious language games that intellectual movements have used to generate texts and spur creativity. You can use these games for this or you can just use them to have a lot of fun. The two movements of reference are the Situationists and the Surrealists. In short: the Situationists played games that filtered their urban surroundings through their own perspectives and through the rules of the game to produce texts that shed an interesting new light on things. The Surrealists played games that subverted the conscious and drew forth from the subconscious and unconscious to create sometimes deeply revealing, oftentimes deeply absurd texts. To this day, these language games are used by writers, artists, friends and dates. In short: if you like Cards Against Humanity, you’re going to love these.

1. Free Writing

What it is: Free writing is where you just write continuously without regarding meaning, grammar, spelling. It’s just writing the first words that come to your mind. This is the most essential and influential language game out of them all.

Theory behind it: This is writing from your subconscious or even unconscious. The thoughts at this level in your mind are usually ordered by your conscious before writing but in this technique, you are letting your deepest thoughts spill onto the page.

Instructions: Set a limit e.g. 1 page, 2 minutes and just write. That’s it.

What it’s good for: single-player, friends, dates, getting ideas, beating writer’s block

Example: pass through the overto becoming witheth horseth no dundo benja man kind up come 6 man no ummmmmm ok this is good good man umbrage spectacular frontage alignment confinement delighted

2. One Word Each

What it is: Each person says one word and it makes a story.

Theory behind it: It’s just funny how everyone tries to control the direction of the story but they can’t really because they only have a single word and everyone is thinking different things so the final product is just ridiculous.

Instructions: One person says a word, then it goes to the next person and they say the next word in the sentence and it keeps going until someone decides to say ‘Full stop’/’Period’.

Or, there’s an alternative where you start with a Cards Against Humanity-style fill-in-the-blank-at-the-end-of-the-sentence and then continue from there.

What it’s good for: friends, dates, having fun more than making serious literature or art.

Example: Ride Westward My Furry Hating Puppet Demon (Source).

3. The Exquisite Corpse

What it is: Each person submits a contribution to a sentence without the other people seeing. But the game assures that the sentence is grammatically correct.

Theory behind it: Poetry can happen accidentally; people can be very random; I don’t know actually.

Instructions: A piece of paper is passed between players who each write a word then fold the paper so the next person can’t see it. But there is a preordained grammatical sentence structure that dictates what kind of word can be written. The classic one is: definite or indefinite article and adjective, noun, verb, definite or indefinite article and adjective, noun.

What it’s good for: friends, dates

Example: The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.

4. Question And Answer

Instructions: One person writes a question on a piece of paper then folds it so the next person can’t see it. Then the next person writes an answer to the unknown question.

Example:

Why don’t they make things like they used to? Systemic racism

Variations: You can play other multi-player games that involve writing things without the other person knowing. You can try:

  • Conditionals: e.g. If the South won the war Everything would be ok in general actually but you would be electrocuted continuously
  • Syllogisms: e.g. Lizards reign supreme You suck Therefore, that’s why you do that little shiver thing sometimes when you pee

5. Opposite Poems

What it is: Each person writes the opposite of what the last person wrote.

Theory behind it: Do opposites really exist?

Instructions: The first person writes a sentence. The next person writes the opposite of that sentence. Then they fold it so that the next person can’t see the sentence before. Then the next person can only see the last sentence and writes the opposite of that and passes it on and so on.

What it’s good for: friends, dates, stretching the limits of the way you write things, keeping your mind active.

Example:

The sea is a cruel mistress The land is a nice man The air is a bad bad girl The noxious gas is a very well-behaved but rather plain girl

Alternatives: Some poets have actually explored writing ‘echo poems’—which are two columns of poetry laid out side-by-side that are opposites of each other—potentially exploring the duality of an issue.

6. Translation Poems

What it is: It’s played the same as the opposite game except each line should be a re-wording of the line before

Example:

L’Oréal: Because You’re Worth It L’Oréal: Because You Have Value L’Oréal: Because You Are Worth A Lot Of Money To Us L’Oréal: Because If You Die I Get In Big Trouble Mister.

7. Substitution Game

What it is: This one can get very juvenile. It’s when you decide on a word and then decide on a rule for how to substitute that into a text. For instance, replace every noun with the word ‘@#%^&’.

8. Dadaist Poem

What it is: Cut up lines from newspapers, advertisements, comic books, the internet, anything and arrange them thoughtfully or randomly into a poem or even a collage.

9. Random Adventure

What it is: a Situationist adventure through the urban landscape. Decide on what random variable will determine your path e.g. ever time you see a man with blond hair, turn left at the next possible opportunity; otherwise keep walking straight. Try to observe your surroundings, your inner thoughts and mental state and the way you are influencing your surroundings. Then write a diary entry-style thing about your adventure if you want to.

What it’s good for: friends, dates. This is something you can always play no matter how bored you get.

Sources

Many thanks to this amazing book—Surrealist Games for over half of the language games that I love (that are in this article).

The Future Web: Our Mind-Blowing Predictions That Are Almost Certain


In the next 10 years+ we’re going to see some incredible things happen to this internet—this unfathomably vast, accelerating and still very infant technology. We just wrote a three-part series about the death of the business website and the future of online marketing. You can read the first article here; however that series was tailored to businesses. After thinking so deeply into it, we had several big ideas that we predict will change the web forever. So we thought it was neccesary to write this article dedicated to giving you a glimpse into the future. Basically, what we have to look forward to is an increased immersiveness in the content and structure of the web. We will also see the webpage take a backseat to new mediums of content. And our way of organising the incredible volumes of information we access should become far more sophisticated. However, we will continue to trade autonomy for these exciting new features.

Algorithmically Generated Videos

It seems like a far-flung notion–that the website will start to take a backseat roll–considering that the website has been the undisputed cornerstone of the web since the beginning. As the web is a network of interconnections, websites are the nodes in that network. But that notion started to change in 2014 when Google began testing what is now the fastest way to get an answer online: Google Cards. When you type in ‘moon landing date‘, the first result is now a ‘card’ that immediately tells you: 16 Jul. 1969 – 24 Jul. 1969. No visiting of websites required. There is another card of key details of the Apollo 11, and another card of similar questions that ‘People also ask’. Google mines this data from websites and then lists it in a way that bypasses the website so you never even visit it (and the source website isn’t quoted). Google is killing the website–as strange as that sounds.

Into the future, Google will increasingly use AI in its search algorithms. It’s cards will become more informative, specific and comprehensive. When you can browse the web by just clicking from card to card, that will be the death knell of the website. Websites will become increasingly tailored towards Google’s web crawlers by just listing facts rather than having the design and meticulous copy of present-day websites. We at dLook actually have started offering this new kind of ‘website’. It’s called a dLook My Listing and you can get a free My Listing of $295 value for free if you get ahead of the competition today. This is a way to prepare for the future of SEO that to our knowledge, no one else has yet caught onto (at least not publically….).

And cards are already extracting the richest content from the web. They contain images and even basic applications. Text is not the fastest way to give people information. Because our brains are so much more stimulated by audiovisual and interactive content; and hence we enjoy to consume information in these formats. Which yields the obvious conclusion:

Google will become a generator for video content. Its algorithms that interpret your search will no longer just list links in order of relevance and it will go far beyond compiling a list of simple facts. It will compile images, sounds, videos and text from the web into a unique film that is tailored to your search. How cool is that! (It’s like Neuromancer.) Your My Listing pages will feed content into these videos, and objects in the videos will be clickable–so people will be able to easily visit your webpage if they want to, or they can just sit back and take it all in.

It’s easy to see how auto-generated videos change the entire way we use the web. Users will be able to interact with videos to jump from one video to another. They will be able to adjust length/depth of the video and click to see more. The web will become an immersive visual world. In fact, we predict that Google will make the entire first page of its search results look like Youtube–with social integration.

The positive outcome of this is that research will become more efficient. Imagine selecting multiple links and/or files and having Google generate a video out of them. Hopefully it will have that feature. And we can’t forget the main positive which is just that web browsing will become so much more fun and relaxing.

But there are negatives. We will forfeit our control over the information we consume increasingly to Google. We may also have more trouble discerning fun and interesting content from that which is useful.

There is also one major obstacle to creating this technology: it is processing power. Will Google amass the astronomical processing power requirements or will the average PC be powerful enough to generate these videos fast enough? My prediction is that unique and dynamically generated Google videos will take many years to arrive. In the meantime, Google’s bots will work to generate some standard ones.

Visualising The Web Landscape

The internet is so huge. It is enormous. It is far, far greater than we can even imagine with our minds and even the simplest search yields a corpus of results that requires the technology of Google to order in any manageable way. But there are a few limitations to Google’s current approach:

  • By saying ‘About 47,600,000 results (0.53 seconds)’, it actually gives the user no way to see how vast the results are with our human minds.
  • It only shows you the results it thinks you want, it doesn’t show you landscape of other results. And this is like the problem of the video prediction–it is a way that Google is reducing our ability to decide which information we want to consume.

We think that with increased processing power, we are soon to see visualisation become a key feature of Google. There are many forms that this visualation could take, but we expect that it will involve looking down on a vast network in which the main topics are clearly visible, and then zooming in to refine the search and to reach individual webpages.

Things like this have been attempted in the past, but the visualisations have been too simple to be useful. We’re talking about an interactive map of the web that lets you zoom all the way out to see the (indexed) web as a whole. This is a dream that I expect many people have.

It will liberalise our access to the web, by allowing us to access and discern it with a new clarity.

And it doesn’t have to be overly mouse-driven even though it is visual. Eye-tracking technology could make this way of browsing the web even faster than using the keyboard. Furthermore, the possibilities for VR immersion in this form of the web are mind-boggling.

But will it actually happen?

Because, this prediction does conflict with the video possibility to a large extent.

The video possibility has more room for advertisements no doubt, however advertisements could still be integrated into this web visualisation, as long as they didn’t skew the form of the visualisation itself. Also, this visualisation would cause Google to actually lose a degree of power over people’s information; but as long as it isn’t trying to steer election results as some people suggest, then this is ok.

Your Own Personal Web

Bookmarks havn’t changed since like the 90s. They are still just a simple link to a webpage. Chrome introduced a beautiful new photo-gallery-like bookmark manager in 2015 which could have changed things a bit….if it didn’t absolutely suck. The problem is–and this is more than conspiratorial–that Google has no incentive to even give Google Chrome a bookmark sidebar. It has every incentive to try to phase-out bookmarks by introducing an infuriating bookmark manager because every time you use a bookmark, you don’t use Google Search–and Google loses money.

This is actually the reason why I think bookmarks are due to change. Because people need to save things from the web; but our current bookmarking system is just a mess. I have like >100 important bookmarks and then a trash file containing a trash file containing etc.

What bookmarks need to become is like web visualisation described in the previous section. They need to be viewable as a network of nodes connected on the basis of hyperlinks, topic, recency, etc. likewise. But they aren’t the entire internet; they are your own personal web.

If one day we can navigate through our bookmarks in a visual, immersive way; then this will make each of our own personal bookmark problems more manageable, even into a future where we will only be increasingly overwhelmed with content. And Google has the incentive to make this, because it would mean that we would be using Google Search even within our personal bookmarks.

Having It All

It is obvious how the visualised web and visualised bookmark ideas in this article go together. But, how can we have both a visualised web and automatic videos? My hope is that Google Search Results have the video and cards in a sidebar on the left and then the visualistion in the middle (and also a link to access the traditional link results). If you click on the visualisation it goes full-screen, and likewise for the cards and automatic video. Because these three new ways of browsing the web are each specialised for their own purposes and have disadvantages in other areas. It is the user’s choice as to whether they seek clarity, stimulation, quick facts etc.–and it is this choice that is key to maintaining autonomy over the access to our own information.

Google Search TV: The Death Of The Website

This is the third article in a series about The Death of the Business Website. The other articles are:

  1. The Death Of The Business Website
  2. Alternatives To A Business Website

We at dLook have been thinking ahead—to the next 5, 10, 20, even 50 years to the future of marketing your business online. At the turn of the century, many businesses—especially small- to medium-sized businesses were slow to make a website and lost market share because of it. Right now, the same thing is about to happen—and it relates to adapting to the new way that people find content online. Google used to help you find what you are looking for (e.g. a plumber); now it just gives you the answer. And the way it does this is by using advanced algorithms which increasingly involve Artificial Intelligence.

But the answer is not always as simple as a date, a quote or any single string or text, link or image. Sometimes you are doing research and find yourself having to skim through numerous articles. In the future, you will just have to sit back and watch a video….

Algorithmic Video

Modern day readers of the visionary Neuromancer by William Gibson are still captivated by the scene in which the protagonist does research in cyberspace. He just speaks a query into the computer and it automatically creates a documentary-style video containing the info he is looking for.

Neuromancer was published in 1984 before the advent of the internet and yet it is still so far ahead in what it envisioned (in fact, this research scene is the least of what it prophesies). Web users have are increasingly preferencing image and video content, but, the reasons why we still read so much on the web are:

  1. Not all information has been made into video, as the editing process takes a lot of time and money.
  2. Videos are harder to skim through than text. For fast, specific information, text is still the clear choice of research medium.
  3. It is a well-known rule-of-thumb that textual information is ‘deeper’ than images or videos. Documentaries fly in the face of this rule but they are so outnumbered by essays and articles that overall, text does go a lot deeper.

But we believe that the next revolution in the web will be what we call ‘algorithmic video’, and this will solve all three problems. What is this zany idea that you are reading here first?! Ok, so you type a query into Google and the algorithm that interprets your search doesn’t just return the most relevant links, text, images, sound and video—it edits them into a documentary. Then you just sit back and take it all in. For research, this is far easier, more entertaining, more memory retentive and more efficient. x It’s like TV and that isn’t a bad thing. Video has a reputation for being shallow but that doesn’t have to be the case with documentaries. It can be informationally even richer, because video is processed 60,000 times faster than text by the brain. And this is actually one reason that we naturally prefer them. The other reason is of course of our preference for less work. And TVs provided the ultimate in relaxation whereas the internet was actually a step in the opposite direction due to its heavy textual and interactive nature. But algorithmic video restores the laid-back quality of TV and whilst this seems like a negative thing, remember that it is delivering you the information that you need to know.

Objects in videos would be clickable, so that you can browse the web through links, but without leaving the video. For instance, you click the Sydney Opera House it takes you to a new video about the Sydney Opera House. So you can browse the web without leaving the video.

You can see how this would change everything. The website would become not obsolete, but mainly just an information source to be crawled by Google’s AI and integrated into the video experience.

In fact we predict that Google’s entire first page of search results will become a YouTube-like cinema, and the textual links will start on the 2nd page.

What Does This Mean For Online Marketing?

If text links are moved to the 2nd page of Google, then Google’s main revenue stream—advertisements—will be within the video itself. This may occur in two ways:

  1. Pre-play advertisements: like present-day YouTube—these are ads that play before the video plays
  2. Integrated advertisements and sponsored content: these are advertisements and links within the video itself that have been paid for by the business. For instance, a business may pay to be featured as the plumber recommended by the video in 1000 web searches.

You can see that (2) is the more leading-edge method and also will probably become the most prominent. (1) is a waste of time for the user, and is easily blocked by ad-block software. However, (2) is too integrated to be easily blocked and moreover, is still useful to the user because it provides with the functionality they requested in their search.

What Does Algorithmic Video Search Mean For My Business Today?

It means the slow but sure death of the business website (as we know it). Having an online web presence is even more crucial than ever, but it will become less important for your website to be attractive to humans and more important for it to attract Google’s bots. Most modern businesses spend large sums on maintaining a flashy, stylish website, and you will be relieved to know that this won’t be an accepted requirement for much longer. Instead, small- to medium-sized businesses will do better to opt for dLook Express Website pages which are webpages that are well-designed for users on PC, tablet and mobile. But, they are especially optimised for Google’s bots. They have all the key info on your business that bots are looking for: name, location, opening hours, images and SEO tags.

When you make Express Website pages, you are optimising the chances of your business’s details being selected by Google to show up in a ‘card’ on the search results page. These cards which you would have noticed—deliver the key info that the searcher is looking for without them having to click any web pages. So they just search for a plumber and it comes up with your number. These cards are only the start of this new kind of search results—where Google just gives you the information directly. So we at dLook recommend making free dLook Express Website pages now. These pages are valued at $295 each and give your business a head-start into a future that is about to hit the headlines like a speeding train.

dLook Express Websites »

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Alternatives To A Business Website

This is the 2nd in a three-part series starting with: The Death Of The Business Website. This series actually questions the accepted fact of modern business—that you need a website. This article doesn’t look to the future in which websites will become increasingly dated and redundant; it doesn’t have to look further than the present in which for small- to medium-sized businesses, websites are overly costly and complicated. And, despite dLook being a company that makes websites, in this article we show you website alternatives which are more streamlined, specific, cost-effective and efficient for your business needs.

Firstly: The Downsides Of Websites

The downsides of websites are rarely spoken of, and the reason is that most businesses just accept the creation and maintenance of a website as a necessity. The hassle that websites can cause is now just part and parcel of modern business practice. But, at dLook we don’t just accept things. We have identified these problems with websites and we seek to find solutions:

  • Setup: Complicated and multifarious. For a good website you want multiple pages, SEO, UI, multimedia, professional images, design, scripting. Most websites are the work of many people who specialise in different areas.
  • Upkeep: Website upkeep can only be talked about in the broadest way because it involves so many things. All those guys who you hired to create the website will probably be needed to maintain it. Some areas of upkeep include posting fresh content, debugging scripts and updating design.
  • Security: This is one of the main problems. Websites are notoriously susceptible to hacking because as a small- to medium-sized, you are not going to design your website like the NSA headquarters. And another reason is that the more complex your website becomes, the more security holes it will have. The prime example is WordPress. WordPress is the go-to website creator and yet its security exploits fill volumes (these volumes are in the hands of both cybersecurity and hackers). If you have WordPress, you should consider these alternatives and also uninstall as many plugins as possible.
  • $$$: Websites cost money—for all the things mentioned, and also for hosting. Hosting is the way you get your website onto the web—it involves paying a company to use their continuously running computers to run the website. Here are the approximated costs: for the creation of a smart, yet standard website, you’re going to spend $2500–$5000. Then for hosting, it will be about $50 per year. Thankfully that’s cheap, but maintenance will need to be paid for.

These downsides must still be considered against the enormous benefits of a business website. Business websites are in 2017 still one of go-to places for interested customers to find out about your business online and hence the benefits will undoubtedly offset the costs. We are not discouraging any business from having an online presence. This is an absolute neccesity in 2017. But surely, for small- to medium-sized businesses aren’t there simpler, more cost-effective ways to have an online presence that does the few key things that you actually want?

One-Pager

A one-page website is still a website technically, but it’s on this list because it’s more cost-effective and simple than a traditional multi-page websites. And for small- to medium-sized businesses, it will probably do everything that you need.

When a potential customer is looking for your business, what they need is:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Opening hours
  • Location
  • Assurance that this is a quality business

A one-pager can do all this in the most straight-forward manner possible, with no clicking through menu bars and the like. The customer comes to your one-page website and they are not distracted by any menus, they just see all the info they need on one page.

dLook can create a one-pager at your request of course, but you can also create your own for free quite easily at Wix.

Here are the keys to a great one-pager:

  • Include as much of what your customer is looking for (see list above) ‘before the fold’ (without having to scroll down)
  • Don’t make it an information overload
  • Simple websites need to work harder to assure the customer, so you want a nice, modern design and convincing customer testimonials. For [reputation management look no further].
  • Can contain a mini menu that links to positions down the page

Facebook Page

Pros:

  • Completely free to make and no maintenance
  • High security and reliable
  • Usually ranks fairly highly on Google
  • Can allow you to build a following

 

Cons:

  • Hard to do SEO to elevate Google rankings
  • Hard to manage reputation due to the ability of customers to post and comment about you
  • Doesn’t imply legitimacy or quality

 

Verdict:

A Facebook page will never hurt, and it costs nothing. So dLook, which always supports the multi-channel approach recommends making one. But as your only business page it’s a bit . . . tacky to be honest.

Tumblr

Actually, we shouldn’t have even put this here.

Pros:

  • Don’t

 

Cons:

  • Don’t

 

Tumblr is mainly for images. Around 2013 it tried to attract businesses but I think they kind of gave up on that. It doesn’t rank highly on Google. And . . . it’s got a reputation for being a hub of various teen subcultures including ‘emos’ and ‘otherkin’ which in most cases is not what you want your business to be associated with.

Directory Listing

Listing your business in an online directory opens you up to a new stream of customers. It means that people searching for a local let’s say plumber in that directory may find your business. dLook is an Australian directory with over 1.7 million businesses listed. And it’s free to make a listing, so you should make one now and start tapping into a new source of customers.

But, should a directory listing be your only online presence? No. They are good for being found through a directory search but not as good for Google searches. That’s why when you sign up for a package with dLook, you get far more than a listing—you get a fully-optimised website. But this article is about those businesses who want something lighter, cheaper and more specific than a website, which brings us to the final alternative–

dLook Express Websites

dLook Express Websites are a new type of web presence and a new marketing channel that strip away the unneeded complexities of a website, leaving just what customers and search engines want to find.

Express Websites are webpages with a nice, modern, easy-to-use interface for getting the facts on a businesses core details: name, location, opening hours, etc. These pages are responsive, so display just as well on mobiles, tablets and desktops. But they are not just designed for users. Express Website pages are actually optimised to deliver these core business details to the search engines like Google, so that Google knows exactly your business details. This is quickly becoming the most important thing and the new way to find local businesses. As elaborated in the first article in this series, businesses are increasingly being found through the ‘cards’ that show up on the right side of search results and automatically through AI and voice search. For your business to be found in these ways you need to provide your details to Google in the optimum format. And this is why dLook Express Websites are the best alternative to the business website.

dLook Express Websites »

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