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Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up about 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles.
The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter. There are many different ways to make a compost pile; we have provided the following for general reference. Basically, if you wouldn't be friends with yourself, then who else will.
It gets to the core of it all. I need to pick up the Seneca book, this stuff is too good to ignore : …. Nice post. I have recently taken more of an interest in stoicism after reading the below blog post regarding stoicism for martial artists. It's a good read. Bruno Frey, Richard J. Davidson, and Richard Layard have posted pdfs of their work on their websites, which can be read for free on a variety of topics: the efficacy of Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices on general mood, neural plasticity and immune function, the effectiveness of cognitive therapy on depression, the role that television viewing plays in modulating people's moral conduct, whether those who are self-employed enjoy greater life-satisfaction.
I loved this post. She invites people to question any belief that is causing them pain and to turn these beliefs around. I knew her teachings echoed Daoism in some ways, but it seems like Stoicism is even more in line with her work. I'd recommend her to anyone who has ever had a negative thought, and I'd be interested to hear what all you Stoics out there think about her! Socrates was an expert at spiritual exercises. If you can run a Socratic dialog on yourself you can convince yourself to abandon almost any negative or destructive thought. The Hays translation of The Meditations is so basic and so straightforward that I have a few copies I like to give to people.
It sells itself. One of the important tenets of Stoicism though, or at least where it differs from Christianity, is that it's not necessarily evangelical. We all have a lot of work left to do on ourselves before we should worry to much about converting others. That is so Tim! When my friends complain about their lives I remind them of these teachings, and that usually starts an argument Why is it that we think that our happiness is dependent on the right life partner, the right boss, the right weather, more money or something else?
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The Meditations Gregory Hays translation. I strongly recommend this translation over all others. I totally agree. I tried reading Aurelius many times and was always left feeling I didn't get it… until I found Hays' translation. Worth its weight in gold. I can't believe I didn't remember this but I actually interviewed Gregory Hays last year. It's worth reading for anyone who is on the fence about reading the book. You get the sense that Hays understood Aurelius much deeper than other authors had and that's why his writing seems more genuine.
Another inspirational post. I took some philosophy at University, mainly Logic, but I didn't get very far into the history of it. On my path of being a better person, increasing my education and delving into my fears and failings, I evolved a state of mind that follows the Stoics very closely I just never had a name for it. I even took a course that 'preaches' this exact mentality — 'everything is meaningless, people make the meaning.
There are so many great quotes up there that It's hard to pinpoint one in particular, but this one hit the nail on the head for me:. Perceptions are everything, when you are confronted with any option, a choice arrises, not only in the interaction, but in your mind. Your perception of the situation creates the meaning and that is what you will take away with you. Sean I agree whole heartedly agree with you how others can view this approach to life.
I am often considered somewhat aloof in situations, even cold or distant. Mostly because I don't break down and commiserate a misfortune in the same manner as might 'normally' be the routine of society. It can be unsettling, but then again, if I don't put much meaning into it and I can continue to walk tall in my understanding of myself. The facts were always irrefutable. Really enjoyed the article. Most I will take some I will leave. Being in business reminds me of waitressing. This stuff is changing people's lives for the better, let's get it out into the real world where people will actually pay attention to it!
Ryan Running a Socratic dialogue on yourself sounds similar to performing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — a very successful modern technique for treating psychological disorders simply through talking. One of my majors was philosophy and don't remember any of my fellow philosophy students ever talking about Marx or post-structuralism of any kind. And I don't remember those even being the subject of elective courses, let alone required courses for graduation. And I went to a liberal school.
I do remember poli sci, history, comp lit types talking about that stuff. And Marx was mentioned in my economics courses, not favorably. Albert Ellis is worth including here. The thing that earns him a place in this pantheon is his acerbic sense of humor, and the vigorous effort he made to distill these insights into very pithy and actionable exercises.
I recently heard author William B. Really interesting. Podcasts with him are probably out there. The turtleneck anecdote isn't meant as a slam towards all philosophy majors. My brother was a philosophy major at NYU, and there are intelligent, humble students of the craft, to be sure, as well as practical courses. Unfortunately, to fill four years of class time and debate, this major also tends to attracts some people who are very fond of intellectual tail-chasing with semantics vs.
My brother would be the first to agree on this. Be that as it may, some of my favorite courses at Princeton were in the PHI department — Professor Rosen's class on Epistemology and Metaphysics was amazing. Not as immediately relevant as some of the Stoic writings, but thought-provoking all the same. Yes, this is indeed my biggest criticism of Stoicism, as it can be used to turn one into an automaton of logic. Epicureanism has some real gems, and I combine it with Stoic principles, along with some Buddhist state-awareness practice. I find it's possible to cultivate logic and non-overreaction Stoicism while still enjoying the little things Epicureanism and focusing on the present moment Buddhism instead of excessive planning or regret.
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Interesting article, but I don't know if I can buy stoicism. Perhaps I don't understand it fully, but only changing my perception doesn't have any affect on reality. It just allows me to live in my own world. I know myself well enough to believe that I am inherently evil. Even if I convince myself otherwise, my actions demonstrate that I am evil yes, I know this bring up the debate of what is evil. And that's just my point, there must be an outside party to gauge right and wrong.
This doesn't occur in stoicism. Very edifying! Seneca and Marcus Aurelius were on top of it!. Another great stoic to remember is the great Zeno of Citium. I think we can also look to Nietzsche as an ideal for the entrepreneurial mindset. Amen…A philosophy to live and die by. A bottle of wine someday to you. The book and blog have been of more use than than years of school.
The two are very similar and I think that's why it has been so effective for 2, years. Jack Christianity v Stoicism is an interesting discussion all by itself. For some reason, Christianity viewed Stoicism as a threat early on even though Christianity came after despite how similar they are. John Stuart Mill once asked whether the world would be a better place if people replaced the Bible with Aurelius' Meditations. For me though, I like Stoicisms emphasis on taking responsibility for oneself rather than giving it to God. Prayer is much more theoretical and mental than the Spiritual exercises are.
Like Like. Thank you for a stimulating read with practical application to the thrills and chills of self-employment. Can you be more specific as to what Stoic writing is? Is this journaling with the perspective of the 3 Stoic principles you are pointing out in the post or is there more to it? Reminds me much of what several others have said, very Buddhist. Or is Buddhism just very Stoic? Did a 10 day silent retreat with a Vipassana group in Japan once Vipassana being a very odd form of Buddhism for the Japanese!
It's just perception. Oh, you feel pain? What is pain? It's just that, pain. Nothing more nothing less, unless you give meaning and emotion to it. Lovely way to be this gorgeous Spring day. Thank you. This post and blog is a great source of reassurance and encouragement towards my own goal of entrepreneurial success. Thank you Tim and Ryan! Excellent recruitment for the post my friend!! Thanks for posting as I cannot wait to delve into deeper thought on these prinicipals and how they can positively effect not only my life, but the lives of those around me.
Marcus wrote a large part of Meditations on campaign in Germany. The Stoics often wrote in the morning and at night as a well to prepare and reflect on the day. I try to do it as often as I can. On my site, my goal is to digest what I'm learning out loud as way to hold myself accountable through my readers but I like to observe the same principles.
Sherry I think the fairest thing to say is that they're both equally similar to each other. Just speaking from experience, good applied philosophy is usually very technical and of more value to people working in related technical fields: AI, statistics, informatics and theory in the various special sciences. Their work isn't entirely impractical, it's just not immediately applicable.
For example, the Robot Scientist that recently got so much press has its design rooted in a formal ontology the product of computational metaphysics , the hypothetico-deductive model of explanation that comes from a long tradition in the philosophy of science, and the graphical approach to causal modeling that has depended in no small part on the work of philosophers at Carnegie-Melon. Very few neuroscientists can give you much practical advice on what to do with your brain, beyond what everyone already knows don't get hit in the head, avoid booze, get plenty of rest, etc.
In the same way that most neuroscientists are not in the business of giving practical advice about brain maintenance, most philosophers are not in the business of giving practical advice about how to get knowledge and regulate your emotions. Until philosophers learn how to implement their theories in the form of demonstrably useful tools themselves, they'll likely retain their unfortunate reputation.
But that's really where the rubber meets the road for any theoretician…in the tools that they develop or that others develop inspired by their ideas. Thankyou, there are times when I think wow who are you and then other times when I want to give you a huge hug full of appreciation! I think the latter wins out in the journey of life. Great one, big Thanks. It's wonderful to see philosophy applied in a practical rather than academic manner.
I've found that a really powerful advicate of this approach is Alan de Botton. I can offer fast turnaround and excellent results for free. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a talk he gave at TED:. My way of life is to think every breath I take is wonderful.
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Stoicism is very similar but adds a practical way to think about it. I love the part about turning mistakes into opportunities. I very much liked the article. However, I have to make this point. Do it, Do it, Do it!!! Being in politics since a very young age, I know the difference between an opportunist and a stoic. Your example of Mr.
Obama's response to the Rev Wright issue left me wondering where that came from. Knowing a little about what happened there I would assume you are aware that he sat in the pew for 20 years and and called the Reverend his mentor but then threw Rev. Wright figuratively under the bus. By the way, the speech he gave on race was developed much earlier for a special occasion. Knowing he was having this issue, he decided to use the speech at that time rather than later. I don't think so. I've been trying to come up with a politician who is also a stoic. Perhaps Abe Lincoln best fits that mold.
I agree with you Bob. What a joke. I find for myself that I know when I've gone too far into feeling enthusiastic because, while there are visions of desirable outcomes in the forefront — of course a lot of fun to mentally play with, I also sense a kind of frenzied energy underneath.
At that point, I feel like I may have set myself up for the downward slope and sometimes my internal response to subsequent events shows this may be the case. Still, I find it difficult to sense the connection with the things and ideas that inspire me to move in certain directions when also trying to maintain equanimity. Yet, I know maintaining a level, logical perspective is vital. Also, have you found stoic philosophies to be helpful in dating and relationships? The tension went out of my body when I read those words. Here I am worrying about how to buy some new clothes for from fear of how I look.
The quote put it into perspective for me. It does not matter what other people think of how I look. That gives them power over me. My jeans ripped are my uniform to humbly remind myself of what is important. Not new clothes. No a different perspective on how to look at yourself first. Face your fear and learn the lessons life has to offer us. A case in point. The current recession has gotten everyone worldwide scared.
I say is this what I dread? Not having the lifestyle before the money dried up? The recession is a natural reset economic button. We got to start fresh. Take this time to really find out who you are? What you want? Where you want to go? Why you want to do it? Who will be along for the journey? When will the changes begin. How will you make them happen? How will you treat the recession as a gift? With regard to the bit about remembering you are small while having the boldness to believe you can change the world:. One more comment.
My comment above was completely uncalled for and unnecessary. I woke up in a foul mood. I apologize and it won't happen again. Please delete my post. I would actually recommend NOT reading the free online texts. Some are as much as years old and written in a completely different style. Part of the reason that philosophy is so inaccessible is the reliance on old texts that use colloquialisms the reader no longer understands. Have a look at Alain de Boton's Consolations of Philosophy — a great book that helps the individual explore some of the greatest themes of philosophy through a simple, practical lens.
Keep it simple, Simpletom. He also happens to be a die-hard Stoic and incredible at putting the principles into practice… He kindly agreed to write this piece, and I hope you find it as valuable as I do. Practice what you fear, whether a simulation in your mind or in real-life. I'm going to have to start the generator and burn some more gasoline. This isn't going to be easy after all. The trouble with energy freedom is that it's addictive; when you get a little, you want a lot. In microcosm I'm like people in government, industry, and private life all over the world, who have tasted a bit of this curious and compelling kind of liberty and are determined to find more.
Some experts think this pursuit is even more important than the war on terrorism. Energy conservation can stave off the day of reckoning, but in the end you can't conserve what you don't have. So Hoffert and others have no doubt: It's time to step up the search for the next great fuel for the hungry engine of humankind. Is there such a fuel? The short answer is no.
Experts say it like a mantra: "There is no silver bullet. Enthusiasm about hydrogen-fueled cars may give the wrong impression. Hydrogen is not a source of energy. It's found along with oxygen in plain old water, but it isn't there for the taking. Hydrogen has to be freed before it is useful, and that costs more energy than the hydrogen gives back.
These days, this energy comes mostly from fossil fuels. No silver bullet there. The long answer about our next fuel is not so grim, however. In fact, plenty of contenders for the energy crown now held by fossil fuels are already at hand: wind, solar, even nuclear, to name a few. But the successor will have to be a congress, not a king. Virtually every energy expert I met did something unexpected: He pushed not just his own specialty but everyone else's too. The big problem is big numbers. The world uses some billion kilowatt-hours of energy a day. It's equal to about 22 bulbs burning nonstop for every person on the planet.
No wonder the sparkle is seen from space. Hoffert's team estimates that within the next century humanity could use three times that much. Fossil fuels have met the growing demand because they pack millions of years of the sun's energy into a compact form, but we will not find their like again. Fired up by my taste of energy freedom, I went looking for technologies that can address those numbers. The answers are out there.
But they all require one more thing of us humans who huddle around the fossil fuel fire: We're going to have to make a big leap—toward a different kind of world. On a cloudy day near the city of Leipzig in the former East Germany, I walked across a field of fresh grass, past a pond where wild swans fed. The field was also sown with 33, photovoltaic panels, planted in rows like silver flowers all turned sunward, undulating gently across the contours of the land. It's one of the largest solar arrays ever. When the sun emerges, the field produces up to five megawatts of power, and it averages enough for 1, homes.
Nearby are gaping pits where coal was mined for generations to feed power plants and factories. The skies used to be brown with smoke and acrid with sulfur. Now the mines are being turned into lakes, and power that once came from coal is made in a furnace 93 million miles million kilometers away. Solar electric systems catch energy directly from the sun—no fire, no emissions.
Some labs and companies are trying out the grown-up version of a child's magnifying glass: giant mirrored bowls or troughs to concentrate the sun's rays, producing heat that can drive a generator. But for now, sun power mostly means solar cells. The idea is simple: Sunlight falling on a layer of semiconductor jostles electrons, creating a current.
Yet the cost of the cells, once astronomical, is still high. Like most things electronic, solar power has been getting cheaper. Tomorrow, he says, it will make sense for almost everyone. Martin Roscheisen, CEO of a company called Nanosolar, sees that future in a set of red-topped vials, filled with tiny particles of semiconductor. He won't say exactly what the particles are, but the "nano" in the company name is a hint: They are less than a hundred nanometers across—about the size of a virus, and so small they slip right through skin.
Roscheisen believes those particles promise a low-cost way to create solar cells. Instead of making the cells from slabs of silicon, his company will paint the particles onto a foil-like material, where they will self-assemble to create a semiconductor surface. The result: a flexible solar-cell material 50 times thinner than today's solar panels.
Roscheisen hopes to sell it in sheets, for about 50 cents a watt. At that price solar could compete with utilities and might take off. If prices continued to drop, solar cells might change the whole idea of energy by making it cheap and easy for individuals to gather for themselves. That's what techies call a "disruptive technology. We believe solar electric systems will be disruptive to the energy industry. Yet price isn't the only hurdle solar faces. There are the small matters of clouds and darkness, which call for better ways of storing energy than the bulky lead-acid batteries in my system.
But even if those hurdles are overcome, can solar really make the big energy we need? With solar now providing less than one percent of the world's energy, that would take "a massive but not insurmountable scale-up," NYU's Hoffert and his colleagues said in an article in Science. At present levels of efficiency, it would take about 10, square miles 25, square kilometers of solar panels—an area bigger than Vermont—to satisfy all of the United States' electricity needs.
But the land requirement sounds more daunting than it is: Open country wouldn't have to be covered. All those panels could fit on less than a quarter of the roof and pavement space in cities and suburbs. Wind, ultimately driven by sun-warmed air, is just another way of collecting solar energy, but it works on cloudy days. One afternoon I stood in a field near Denmark's west coast under a sky so dark and heavy it would have put my own solar panels into a coma.
But right above me clean power was being cranked out by the megawatt. A blade longer than an airplane wing turned slowly in a strong south breeze. It was a wind turbine. The turbine's lazy sweep was misleading. Each time one of the three foot meter blades swung past, it hissed as it sliced the air. Tip speed can be well over miles kilometers an hour.
This single tower was capable of producing two megawatts, almost half the entire output of the Leipzig solar farm. In Denmark, turning blades are always on the horizon, in small or large groups, like spokes of wheels rolling toward a strange new world.
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Denmark's total installed wind power is now more than 3, megawatts—about 20 percent of the nation's electrical needs. All over Europe generous incentives designed to reduce carbon emissions and wean economies from oil and coal have led to a wind boom. The continent leads the world in wind power, with almost 35, megawatts, equivalent to 35 large coal-fired power plants. North America, even though it has huge potential for wind energy, remains a distant second, with just over 7, megawatts. With the exception of hydroelectric power—which has been driving machines for centuries but has little room to grow in developed countries—wind is currently the biggest success story in renewable energy.
He's director of project development for a Danish energy company called Elsam. He means not only the number of turbines but also their sheer size. In Germany I saw a fiberglass-and-steel prototype that stands feet meters tall, has blades feet 61 meters long, and can generate five megawatts. It's not just a monument to engineering but also an effort to overcome some new obstacles to wind power development. One is aesthetic. England's Lake District is a spectacular landscape of bracken-clad hills and secluded valleys, mostly protected as a national park.
But on a ridge just outside the park, though not outside the magnificence, 27 towers are planned, each as big as the two-megawatt machine in Denmark.