The Beginning of Infinity

I’m reading this book. I don’t understand some of it, and my interest in it comes and goes depending on what David Deutsch talks about, but it’s amazing. And I’ve got right back into it today, after starting chapter 10 – A Dream of Socrates. The chapter recounts a dialogue between Socrates …

My fly was open.

That was me today when I was teaching my English class. For over 3 hours, in front of 8 students. I knew they were laughing at something. And I only noticed after. When even the shiest and most modest student who barely ever smiles and definitely never laughs is suddenly …

Don’t believe this

Take everything on the internet with a grain of salt. I know a few things. Not many. I know the sun will come up tomorrow. Most likely. But scientifically you can not say it will come up for us on Earth tomorrow. It’s possible it won’t. I do know some facts …

Every word counts

My friend Matt is up here in Queensland for a week to watch the Super Bowl together. He expresses himself really well and understands how you say what you say matters a lot. And he has some words that he things do not help you live better. One of them …

One job robots can’t do

When choosing a new career direction, it’s important to stop and think ‘Is technology going to make me obsolete one day?’ There’s so many jobs where actual human people are being told, ‘Sorry, Garry. See that machine over there? Yes, well, how do I put this… goodbye.’ A friend of …

Writers Block is not a thing

Neil Strauss says writers block is like impotence. Firstly, he says that it’s bullshit, and all it is is you putting pressure on yourself to perform, when the thing to focus on doing is to relax and just write. Be present and just do it. Just write. Rick Rubin once …

Why I’m doing this

“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters–don’t wish to seem knowledgeable. And if some regard you as important, distrust yourself.”

– EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 13a (from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday)

 

I’ve always been bad at conversation. If I have to keep a conversation going with someone I’m not comfortable with, I’m in Strugglesville. But I’ve always loved asking questions.

12 years ago, I was about to fly up from Melbourne to Sydney to interview Les Murray (the Soccer guy) for an article, and at the last minute, my girlfriend at the time gave me some advice: ‘Don’t ask any stupid questions. You do that a lot…’. In a split second, my confidence about the interview was shot and I also got extremely defensive. (I did actually ask some really dumb questions though. I’d go to an engagement party and ask the bride-to-be how she knew her future husband. Or ask things that a simple Wikipedia search would’ve answered in three seconds.)

Looking back now though, that was a huge compliment.

The writers I admire the most are John Safran, Neil Strauss, Louis Theroux and Tim Ferriss. And it’s because these guys ask ‘stupid’ questions. Questions coming from a position of true curiosity. The obvious questions that you want the answer to, but you yourself might be afraid to ask, for fear of looking like an idiot.

In Ryan Holiday‘s book, The Daily Stoic, he says, ‘One of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyperconnected, 24/7 media world is say: “I don’t know”.’

Guys like Safran, Strauss, Theroux etc. acknowledge they don’t know something, so they ask about it. Simple as that. Without worrying whether people will think they’re dumb. That doesn’t happen enough.

If you ask someone a question that starts with ‘what…?’ (e.g. What do you do? What is that? What does it do?’ etc.), most of the time you get a pre-programmed response, straight off auto-pilot. You can leave things there, sure, but if you then genuinely ask them ‘Why?’, most of the time, you get a real response from within them, about their motivations, reasons and belief about that thing. And even if you don’t get it first time, asking again (and even again – ie. the rules of 3’s) will eventually get you to the truth, where you learn about them, it can actually help them learn more about themselves, and in turn it may even help you learn more about yourself. All because of one word.

This can be annoying, but it works. And really digging deep and thinking about why we actually do what we do is what helps you constantly become an even better version of yourself and live a better life.

So this site is dedicated to the ‘Why?’. And the stupid questions that get to the core of why you do what you do.

It’s also about daily routines, rituals and habits. Oh, and also, pyjamas.

That’s why I do it.

Yours in stupidity,

Dave