Daniel Hayward

a web log of essays, fiction, and data, a playground built with words

Dallin rode his scooter up the corridor. The whole ship a corridor. Going up and down and left and right. Even where they ate was called a mess hall.

Dallin put at least ten hours on his scooter every day. Gleaming corridors, polished to a mirror finish. And every single hallway had four coming off of it.

Sector H-L were Dallin's. His team called it hell, but Dante hadn't imagined anything like this. Sisyphus in year 700 might have had some feeling for hell's cleaning. If the dwarves had to clean the Mines off Moria to a mirror finish, they would have been able to feel the hell crew's pain.


Language Response meaning in English Reply meaning in English
Mandarin ”(live to) 100 years old” “Excuse me.”
Japanese “Are you all right?” “Sorry.” or “Excuse me.”
Gīkūyū “Are you sick?” “Not really!”
Kusaal “God speaks truth” “Amen!”
Kiswahili “I am sorry” “Already feeling better” / “Thank you”
Mongolian “May God forgive you.”
Kazakh “May Tengri give me five hundred horses” “Half mine, half yours”
Telugu “May you be blessed with a life without death” “Thank you”
Pashto “Patience” “Thank you”
Hawaiian “Sneeze, and you shall live” “Thank you”
Yiddish “Sneezed on truth”
Yoruba “Sorry” “Thank you”
Mandarin “Drink more water” .
Navajo They said it “Yes, they did”
German “You shall grow tall!” “Thank you (very much).”
Serbian “Go away kitten”

Knowledge is knowing why there are dimples on a golf ball. Skill is hitting the golf ball well.

Knowledge is a recipe followed to the jot and tittle. Skill is making an amazing meal with what's in the fridge.

Knowledge is how much a job position is worth in the current market. Skill is negotiating your salary.

Knowledge is information in a single a domain. Skill is applying embodied practice to new domains correctly.

hat tip to Scott Young, and his book Ultralearning

When I do a behavior that I know is bad for me and those around me, then it's a signal that something is wrong inside.

If I am filled up with goodness and joy, patience and grace, when I am upset that is what will spill over, onto my family, friends and neighbor.

Instead of condemning myself, I can choose curiosity about what these behaviors are solving (poorly).

  • overeating | low self-worth
  • excessive video games, social media | lack of progress
  • not doing housework when I should | overwhelmed
  • idling at work | feeling directionless

It isn't that I need to participate in these behaviors to use them as signals, desire is enough. Just because I have an urge doesn't mean I need to act on it. But if I constantly am fighting my urges, though, I will be struggling all the time. If I never deal with what is actually wrong, eventually willpower will either fade or turn into will worship.

There's a third way.

Ask these about paragraphs, sections, chapters and whole books.

  1. What is the author's point in writing this?
  2. What were the author's arguments?
  3. Is the author correct? Can you think of any scenarios where the opposite is true?
  4. How does this connect to your previous knowledge?

  1. Don't go outside
  2. Travel with slow friends
  3. Work out enough to be able to fight a bear
  4. Read and learn from The Revenant
  5. Don't study them
  6. Bring them so much food that their hunger is sated
  7. Bring a game to distract them with
  8. Don't get in their enclosure at the zoo
  9. Learn rhetoric well enough to persuade a bear that they don't want to eat you
  10. Wear some armor

I smoothed my pants out needlessly as Richard and Barb looked over my resume, Richard holding it at arm’s length, refusing to see an eye doctor because “it's fine.”

Barb managed to give me the idea that she was rolling her eyes constantly, even though I didn't see her actually it. Richard bounced his foot, drummed his pencil, looked at the clock, turned the paper over, and doodled.


Approaching behavior change with curiosity is hard.

BJ Fogg says (and James Clear) that behaviors are reinforced through reward.

The difference is in the language we use when changing our behaviors.

We say things like “I should”:

  • run
  • eat a certain food
  • not eat a certain food
  • tip service people more than pennies
  • argue more on the internet
  • mock republicans for their inconsistencies
  • mock democrats for their inconsistencies
  • create more than I consume
  • whatever habit you're trying to work on

It's the easiest thing in the world to beat yourself up when you miss the mark. Instead, when you find a way that doesn't work, or doesn't move the needle as much as you would like, be curious. You just found new information that you can use! If you approach with curiosity instead of condemnation, you won't feel rotten when you didn't get it right the first time.

Instead ask, “What can I do to get closer to my goal?”

It takes courage to do this. The required grace and patience must come from without, not within.

  1. Hand Bells (except at Christmas, and only ½ performance)
  2. Xylophone (but what should I use for X in my ABC book?)
  3. Cymbals
  4. 12 String Guitar (MOAR STRINGS)
  5. Ukulele (unless its played by IZ)
  6. Hand harp
  7. Gong
  8. Piccolo
  9. Zither
  10. Triangle


  1. Mandolin
  2. Cowbell
  3. 6 String Guitar
  4. Drums
  5. Bass Guitar
  6. Standup Bass
  7. Piano
  8. Violin
  9. Cello
  10. Didgeridoo


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