Day to day things

These days it doesn’t even seem like a surprise anymore, I wonder what’s next? A transgendered individual?

Do people really change?

Think about all the things that made you who you are. The years of character building experiences. The way you were raised. The way people treated you. The way you perceive yourself. These all culminate into creating who you are now.

I always wonder if people do change.

Do they?

Well, I think sometimes you have life altering experiences or trauma that can change you permanently. Weather its a near-death experience, or something like a loss of someone close to you, these can leave you a different person.

But what about character “Flaws”.

Well, these are a bit harder, the deeper you get into your life, the harder it becomes to change. You get more in-tune with yourself and more stubborn. It’s a lot harder to change a 40 year old than a 18 year old.

I was thinking the other day, have I changed much?

Yes, I’ve lived around the globe and experienced so much, but who I am as a person, that’s still fundamentally in-tact. I know of this girl I used to date way back, we always used to fight, always. Ultimately, she was raised in a family where she had absent parents and constantly needed attention. I was early in my Banking career and was fairly focused on work. It was just mayhem, despite her being in University whilst I was working 70-80 hour weeks regularly, the nagging would not stop, literally, never.

Oh, you bought me a gift? But your handwriting on the card looks messy.
You worked 3 80 hour weeks back to back didn’t organise three dates this week? You don’t care!
You didn’t drive 45 kms from the other end of the city in the opposite direction to your house in peak hour traffic to pick me up from my workplace? You selfish prick!

And that for me was a pretty pathetic relationship, besides the constant bangs, there was nothing in it for me. A leftover skank that had ridden the carousel, with a naggy attitude. So I wore that out, dumped a ton of creampies into her, and discarded her like the 20 odd guys before me.

Then a few years later, whilst abroad, another invisible child. Parents are an ATM machine that give no love. And here comes the problems, nag about this and that and so on. I knew this was one of those so I cut my losses and ended it fast.

It got easier and easier to identify the ones that I would have problems with, I just spoke a different love language, wasn’t into neediness and had expectations. They unfortunately never met them, so no hard feelings.

But did I change much? No, I noticed I just struggle with girls that weren’t raised by loving parents who gave them attention. The expectations of their partner seemed excessive, and of course I got heaps of attention when I was younger so it felt unnatural to me to be that missing “father figure” to them. Some people love it (See them creeper old dudes pulling off their ddlg kink for example).

With experience, I got to know myself better.

But did I change, in what works for me? Definitely not.

Hoarders Haven

I was doing some cleaning the other day and throwing away old clothes that I haven’t worn in years. I realised how much more stuff I had bought whilst living in Australia compared to other places.

It could potentially be seen as me having more space to store them or a more “permanent” home there. But also, I realised a lot of this was to kill time, given there’s generally not much going on on weekdays in Melbourne, especially after the years of lockdown, the tendency would be to buy stuff online.
Compared to living in Asia and Europe where people would often be out after work and have the option to actually be out and do things, you simply don’t have the time to be couped up in your room watching Netflix after dinner most week nights, since there are other options to spend your time.

On top of that, there’s this culture that exists in Australia, similar to the US, of just constantly buying the latest and greatest to fill out space. Latest gadgets? Check. Latest furniture? Check. A new Weber Barbeque? Check. A new road bike with a custom seat? You bet.
I’m sure most people who have worked a Corporate gig in Australia realise that the water cooler banter revolves heavily around purchases and boasting about the latest one.

A “Bunnings run” and a “Kmart run” is now rivaling similar levels of popularity to the famous “Maccas run”.

Yet despite living in a culture of constant consumerism and material purchases, the environment and sustainability are key political topics for most Australians as we saw in the recent elections. I hope we see a change in trends and behaviour rather than be riddled with hypocrisy. But in all honesty, I’d expect nothing less in Melbourne.

Career Choices: Health Vs. Wealth

Ambition and Safety are the two opposites that factor into many career choices. Given the stage of your career and life, answers to which one you should prioritise will differ.

Ambition (Wealth):
Say you’ve just graduated from University or are in that 1–5-year range of commencing your first full-time role, you most likely have all the motivation in the world as the corporate grind hasn’t worn you down just yet. The corporate “perks” still seem like a novelty and furthering yourself through “learning and development opportunities” and “growing your CV” are probably factors that feature high up on your career agenda.

For this stage, ambition is perfect, go on, slave out that role in Investment Banking for a few years, do the equivalent of 8 years of work in 4 years and leverage those skills to find a “cushier” job once you’re ready, or ride up the ladder and stick it out until you no longer want to.

I’ve also come across people who choked hard after university then managed to cover it up with some better roles a few years in, most of these types had a major chip on their shoulder as they struggled to land anything decent straight out the gate and felt the need to prove themselves, so they did, just years later compared to everyone else.

Upsides:

  • You’re wanted and in demand in many more companies across different geographies and industries.
  • Financially you’ll likely be able to command much better remuneration, if not already, then in the future.
  • Pivoting into less demanding roles and industries is much easier than vice-versa, you’ll have a solid work ethic and your expectations of yourself will be a lot higher compared to those around you if you decide to take a step back.
  • The network you build will be with some of the most accomplished people you know. This becomes much more important later as you can get a lot of “favours” from the right people.

Downsides:

  • You will work like a dog and potentially lose some of the best years of your life slaving away late into the night and working weekends.
  • All that stress will very likely impact your health, especially considering you’ll struggle to sleep well and wake up in the middle of the night thinking of work.
  • Aging is a real tragedy when you work a job that you always need to be “switched on” for.
  • Work becoming such a huge part of your life will take a toll on your personal life, many relationships die because one or both parties aren’t able to put in the time, effort, and commitment required to maintain them.

Safety (Health):

Perhaps you’ve done your years slaving it out in Banking, Consulting, or in a top-tier Technology company where you’ve made a bit of bank and cashed out your stock options. The burn it took on your health started to add up and you’re looking for a more cruisey role so you can at least enjoy some time outside of work or focus on relationships/family/hobbies. It would make perfect sense at this stage to prioritise Safety.

However, some people, finish university and do this from the start, sometimes by choice, other times through necessity. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, but to coast from Day 1, when you could do so much more, one must wonder where all that extra energy goes?

The upsides and downsides are basically the opposite of what was written earlier. Less money, more time, better health, lazier network, harder to pivot careers/move abroad, and potential for better social and personal life.

I remember coming across this quote from the Dalai Lama which I feel is relevant to this discussion:

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

So consider wisely..

Flag Updates

It’s humbling to see privileged Westerners sit around in their armchairs and share their horror at the Russia-Ukraine War situation.

So what do they do to alleviate it?

Update their social media pictures with Ukrainian flags, of course.

Yep, that’ll show Russia! …and all my friends and family that I’m a woke individual that cares about the world and current affairs.

Oh and maybe consider whipping up a Chicken Kyiv tonight for dinner to show further support.

Rainbow Fever

Coming to a Church near you..

Advice I would give to students today

It’s been a while since I finished school and university, and in that time things have changed drastically. We’ve gone to just about every school using personal laptops, we’ve been forced to adapt to remote learning due to the pandemic, and what used to be abnormal, is now normalised.

Here are a few pieces of advice in no particular order I’d give to students today.

  • Don’t just rock up to class and leave
    • Don’t be like everyone else that just simply turns up to class, zones out, then leaves. If you really care about topics, make that time to speak to teachers, tutors and do some background research and express your views on the findings.
  • Balance out useful subjects with easy electives
    • Everyone knows breadth/elective subjects are largely a joke. I’d recommend taking easy subjects when you have semesters that you know that will have a tough time, but also don’t be afraid to put in the time to take on something useful when you’re able to. Some of the skills you’ll pick up might actually come in handy in the future. I’ve had a few friends take coding subjects as electives and now the type of work they do is more focused on that rather than what they actually majored in.
  • Embrace the student life
    • As someone that blazed through a 3 year undergraduate degree and ended up in the world of banking and consulting, I do look back at the whirlwind that was University. It’s a great space of time in your life where you’ll have the time to pursue hobbies, build great friends and learn. Enjoy it, it probably won’t come around in the same form again.
  • Keep in touch with people after graduating
    • Friendships and networks are like plants, they need watering and maintenence for them to keep growing. So instead of slowly losing touch with everyone once you hit the real world, make the effort to maintain connections with people. Go on that coffee catch up or lunch meet up. Don’t be afraid of being the person to follow up on unreplied messages. I can assure you that there’s been so many times where someone I know has ended up introducing me to other people that have been really beneficial for me both on a personal, profesional or social level.
  • Don’t be afraid of the real world
    • So many students (Commerce students in particular..) are so fearful that they will not find a job after University. There’s no real need to be afraid. People I know that struggled after university and did basic jobs for a year or so managed to find something more meaningful and climb the ladder just as fast as someone that got straight into a graduate program. Everyone has their own pace, so don’t be afraid to struggle at the beginning because there’s many paths to achieveing success.

Although the above is not an exhaustive list. I would encourage students to take some of these tips onboard. Hindsight is a valuable tool so always be open to hearing other peoples advice and making the choice as to weather you would think it would be beneficial for you to adopt.

Classic Posts: “Unnatural Selection”

Below is a classic post from a blog that is no longer functional, LaidNYC. This post is from over 7 years ago.

Once upon a time, the harsh winter of northern latitudes brought forth a great selective pressure upon its human inhabitants.  The challenges of the terrain selected for the clever, and the cold climate allowed brains to expand with little metabolic cost. The minds it shaped brought forth innovation, first benefitting themselves and their spawn. Then capital, markets, and money coevolved with agriculture and eventually developed into an Industrial Revolution to solve problems for the masses at a low price of $19.95.  Now western humanity has all the comfort and prosperity that 99.9% of humans did not have throughout history, with none of the brainpower required.

Today the threats of predators, vicious weather, starvation, and sexual excess have been solved by innovations built by great minds: Temperature controlled housing, superior technology, and weaponry, mass-produced food, medical innovation. It is only with these prosperous luxuries that this generation can consider progressive arguments that would get themselves laughed out of their village in shame throughout civilized history.  Indeed, being a progressive has become a way to signal just how comfortable and high status you are. Thank you for the innovations in reproductive medicine, now stay out of my bedroom while I laugh at the religious ethics that was my ancestor’s penicillin. Open your borders, disarm and share everything with the world or you’re a backward racist hick. This washing machine is great, now stop oppressing women like a caveman.

With these comforts, for the first time, the selective pressures that will shape the genome of future generations are not coming from nature, it is coming from high verbal IQ shysters within the populace. But Darwin doesn’t care. Threats to reproductive fitness can come from a bear running at you, or from a TV telling your daughter to never settle. You see the unfortunate story of a woman who spent the currency of her youth on degrees and contracepted sex with alpha males and then her IVF doesn’t take at 35. What I see is a gazelle that got eaten by a cheetah because it couldn’t run fast enough. To the universe, the result is just the same. There are those who won’t reproduce by their own carelessness or choice.  It isn’t to be fought. It is an evolution in action. It isn’t sad, it is a beautiful thing to witness.

Those who are most susceptible to believe the slick liars when they preach equalism and egalitarianism and pathological altruism will see their reproductive fitness decline. Teach your daughter to be a strong independent feminist and you’ll take your death rattle with no grandchildren at the side of your bed. Embrace the blank slate and don’t say anything racist in front of your children, and your grandkids end up looking nothing like you. Refuse to extend a middle finger at the warm n’ fuzzy everyone-gets-a-trophy philosophy and your son ends up a pussy.  But with evolution, there are winners as well as losers. Some will resist these pressures.  Indeed, the cultural Marxists should be careful what they wish for: They’re selecting for the smartest, most fertile, most racist, most patriarchal group the world has seen.

Of course, the high-time preference underclass who can’t summon the willpower to reach for a condom in the heat of the moment will continue to spawn above the carrying capacity of their earning power. But an Idiocracy can only be supported by the grace and altruism of wealth-producing hosts. The civilized world that they thieve trust from is held together with precarious threads, not least of all being a novel fiat reserve currency. A black swan event will not be kind. When the greenback goes full Madoff and/or technological advances finally crush all the monkey-sorting-widget jobs and the parasite class must be formalized with a Guaranteed Minimum Income, you will see the flight on a massive scale. Secession, expatriation, high walls, immigration-by-genome, and no apologies.

So keep up the “progress”.  Release those cheetahs and we’ll see which gazelle can run the fastest. You think each time a universal ballot or activist judge swings left you’ve won a battle when really you’re just creating more legroom for my grandkids in Elysium.

Generation Lockdown

I was doing a bit of mentoring work with a group of students over the past few months. I thought it would be a nice way to learn more about the challenges that students face these days and give back the things I’ve learnt through experience over the years.

Here are a few things I noticed in my interactions with them:

  • Everyone is hyper PC these days

Now I know as society moves further and further to the left this is expected, but honestly it felt like these students were so careful about the words they used, weather it be LGTBQ+, or discussion the “traditional owners of the land” or a comment around darker skin colours.

Now I get it, we’re all only allowed to express opinions when it complies with the social norms of society and there’s no safe space to speak openly about how you truly feel unless its to very close people whom you trust but I felt for these guys. I’m sure the thicker skin my generation developed is being well eroded into the more herbified final product of today.

  • The sacrifices of lockdown

Everyone hated morning lectures, or last minute all nighters to get assignments done, but those experience coupled with the campus where you bumped into people and made excellent friends for life, they were the bits of University life most people remember. The COVID generation are instead going into Zoom lectures, dozing off and becoming social recluses through no fault of their own.

The social experience of university being heavily compromised sucks, and I’m sure many will use that FOMO and potentially travel or stretch their degrees out to get a “complete” social experience of being a student.

  • The fear amongst students regarding the future

COVID showed us how quickly the economy can crash then restart. One day its doom then slowly the market regains confidence and booms. Now with migration largely on hold until 2022 many graduating students will be going into a job market which will have fewer international students and low-level workers to compete with. For more experienced workers, this has been a godsend where they have been able to find more lucrative roles and negotiate salaries that they probably wouldn’t have been offered without the pandemic.

However, as with most students, there’s a fear of graduating and not finding appropriate work. Everyone has that, and it’s a valid concern. Although in hindsight, I think most individuals that continually push themselves, upskill and try, will be offered the opportunities to succeed in a place like Australia, most of these younger folk – they simply struggle with that idea.

So, what do they do? They go hard and try to overcompensate. The number of times I’ve had first year students asking me to review their CV has been rather surprising, especially when they can’t even apply for vacation work for another year.

I do honestly think things will improve, and return to some level of normality. A good comparison would be to the generation that graduated into the GFC. They eventually turned out alright in most cases..

Dream On

I noticed the other day; I was thinking back to thoughts that I had as a teenager in High School. So many ambitions, so many goals, I always dared to dream.

But in the back of my mind, those were just dreams, I always knew that they required a lot of hard work. I regularly doubted if I was good enough to achieve them but my fear of failure was the drive that I needed to keep myself going. Was it the best fuel for goals? Probably not, but it worked for me, at the expense of other areas of course.

Now with the value of hindsight, I can look back and comfortably say that all those larger goals I had back then, I’ve been able to tick off.

The teenage version of me would be proud, but the version of me that exists today, it has adjusted in a manner where it becomes almost expected. But I look at my targets for the future and hope that I can reach those in a similar manner. Because those for me are even more challenging than the ones I have achieved thus far, but the only difference now is that I stopped and looked back and gained the confidence in knowing that I have a track record of achievement.

It’s funny how the treadmill of life works sometimes.