Everything I’ve Learned About Happiness in 15 Clear Steps

HappyAccording to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, happiness comes down to roughly 50% genetics, 40% choices, and 10% circumstances. If this is correct, that means you only really control 40-50% of the factors influencing your happiness…at best. But the bit you control can be hugely impactful, and to some degree you may be able to affect the genetic component by tweaking your brain chemistry in various ways. Perhaps in the future you’ll even be able to tweak your happiness genes, but I digress.

Along these lines, I think it’s important to point out that “Happy” is simply a balanced brain chemical cocktail: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. “Sad” is an excess of cortisol, glucocorticoids, and a lack of happy chemicals. Sad could also involve an excess of adrenaline or norepinephrine, though in the right situations there’s nothing wrong with those chemicals. Again, it’s all about balance. Continue reading…

Hacking Humanity

Hacked Binary CodeIn the world of computer security, there’s a term known as pentesting (short for penetration testing). Pentesting is the process of testing a computer system or network (or a building) for weaknesses that can be exploited.

Companies will hire a hacker or a team of hackers to attempt to break into their physical and/or digital properties preemptively. Talk about fascinating! Considering how many massive computer security breaches we’ve seen in the last few years, perhaps a few more companies should be investing in pentests.

When a hacker conducts a penetration test, they typically start with the most common weaknesses: people, default passwords on servers and software, easy to guess user passwords, well known and unpatched vulnerabilities, etc. They start with the low hanging fruit, and in far too many cases, that’s sufficient to break into a system. As Einstein said, “Two things are infinite, the Universe, and human stupidity.” Continue reading…

Becoming Telepathic

Becoming Telepathic

Before you learn to change the perceptions of others, first you need to master your own perceptions. Alas, I can’t actually make you telepathic (sorry!), but I can get you closer than 99% of the population.

First and foremost, you need to become aware of your surroundings. The average Joe spends 9-10 hours per day glued to a digital device of one kind or another (TV, phone, etc.). Unfortunately, since less than 2% of the population is actually neurologically capable of multi-tasking, this poses a bit of a problem when it comes to our awareness of our surroundings.

Now, don’t go having a heart attack or anything just yet…I’m not telling you to get rid of your digital devices! But, at least for a period of time, you’re going to need to spend more time with your eyes on the world, instead of on a screen. Continue reading…

The World is Broken. Can We Fix It?

Of the many things I enjoy doing, thinking deep thoughts and solving puzzles are two of my favorites. As I was walking home from breakfast this morning, I found myself thinking about our world and just how wrong things seem to be.

It may sound cynical, but I’m 100% convinced that our world is well and truly broken beyond the point of repair (though not beyond the point of rebuilding, a fine point)…and I think I finally understand one of the key reasons it is the way it is.

To sum it up, our world is broken due to faulty education, because we’re taught from an early age that some things are impossible.

Monsters in the closet? Impossible. Superheroes and super powers and mutants? Impossible. Big foot, Loch Ness monsters, and Ghosts? Impossible. Flying cars, fusion at room temperature, exceeding the speed of light? Impossible. Impossible, impossible, impossible.

And that’s an absolute load of shit. Continue reading…