10 Tips to Become a More Creative Photographer

Creativity is our lifeblood. Typically when I think about creativity, I think of aberrant thinking, and doing things differently from what is considered traditional.

Some thoughts:

1. Ignorance is good

Something I have discovered is that going to art school, studying art history, etc. might be one of the worst things for your creativity. Why? Honestly a lot of it is so fake; a lot of artists tend to be insecure introverts, and I think that all people seek some sort of supremacy. Therefore, if you are a young insecure artist, or even a more mature insecure artist, you will seek external validation for your art.

Therefore, I think some knowledge of the past is useful, in so far much as it can help expand your thinking. For example, the reason why I really like Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, studying cubism and other forms of abstract art is so interesting because it teaches us:

Art does not need to be photo-realistic to be legitimate.

For example, even people don’t know that Jean Michel Basquiat really knows how to paint, photo realistic paintings. The same thing with Jackson Pollock, Picasso, Matisse, all of them. Also the same goes with other surrealist’s, and abstract painters.

Typically this is how it goes:

  1. The artist will get a traditional painting education
  2. The artist will make really really great photo realistic paintings
  3. The artist will eventually get bored of this and seek some sort of innovation
  4. The artist then figures out a more unorthodox form of visual expression

Even when you think of an artist like Kanye West in the context of art, he started off as a traditional producer, making music and beats for other artists. Then he wanted to get into rapping. And got in. Then he wanted to go to fashion, and then he did. And also if you think about his more innovative albums like 808s & Heartbreak, and also his Yeezus album, Kanye West was at least 20 or 30 years before his time.

2. What is creativity?

I think the best definition of creativity is having the propensity to create. That is, you like to create and make stuff.

Therefore, I think a creative person is somebody who derives joy from creating things. Creating, modifying, customizing, painting, drawing, making photographs, making videos, etc.

Whenever you transfigure something, or the world, you create something new.

3. What gets in our way?

My personal thought is so much of the difficulties behind art is that everyone is trying to put us down.

For example, I can speak from my personal experiences. When I got started in photography, street photography, started traveling the world and meeting all this famous people, etc., at the ripe age of 22, this is what I have discovered:

When other people see you as a young rising star, they feel small compared to you, and they feel less bad about themselves, when they try to put you down.


4. Think different

To become more creative means to think differently. What does it mean to think different?

First, I think there is a moralistic ethical perspective behind things. That is, one is not permitted to think differently, in modern day society. Also, it seems that the modern left-wing liberal bent is becoming more intolerant.


5. Insane audacity

Another thought I have is when it comes to creativity, insane audacity is a good idea.

For example, Who are some of the most creative geniuses we have witnessed on planet earth? Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, Kanye West, Elon Musk, etc.

“Name one genius that ain’t crazy!” – Kanye

I think in order to become a creative genius, you need some sort of level of insane audacity.

“A genius is just a kid with good parents.” – Kanye

What is a genius anyways? I think all kids are geniuses, and are born geniuses. The problem:

Typically, when most kids go through the traditional K-12 education system, their genius like curiosity is beaten out of them.

When I think about Montessori education, it isn’t a perfect system, but, I think that general bias is that they indulge more creativity in their kids.

6. Kids are smarter than you think

Something that I have discovered with Seneca, him only currently being 2 years two months old, he is 1 billion times smarter than I think he is.

And I think this is the secret,

Just talk to your kids as if they were 12 years old.

Kids are so much more capable than we think they are. I think the bias in America, also eastern schools of thought is that kids are not that intelligent. However, I think the geniusness of your child will rise to the occasion. This means:

If you treat your kids like a genius, they will become a genius.

However,

If you treat your kid like a baby, they will remain a baby forever.

This is also age independent. It doesn’t matter if you are two years old, three years old, 35 years old, etc., I think maturity is a mentality thing.

7. Do you even desire creativity?

I think 99.9% of creativity had to deal with courage. That is, having the courage to be different, act different, and approach things differently.

For example, do you have the courage not to have an Instagram?

I think in terms of creativity, the downside is that often when you are more creative, you are actually praised less. I don’t think one should pursue creativity for the sake of being praised. The trap is when you seek to be praised, you’ll actually not to do creative things, you’ll just do the same old boring thing as everyone else, and be praised for that.

For example, in the context of art, kids who could draw or paint more photo realistically are praised more than kids who draw abstract. Yet ironically enough, at the upper echelon of things, like if you think about the end works a Picasso and Matisse, their ultimate works are indeed, childlike. Consider the beautiful sublime simplicity of Matisse and his Turkish blue cut outs of the silhouettes of women. Literally any kid with cardboard paper and scissors could do it. I think the ultimate hybrid of an artist is this:

Have the intelligence of adult, but create like a child.

8. The genesis of creativity?

Something I am personally curious about is where does creativity come from?

My thought is perhaps the genesis of creativity is dissatisfaction with things. The deep desire to change, transfigure, modify things and the world.

For example, let us consider a Steve Jobs, one of the most creative human beings who has ever lived. If you read the Walter Isaacson biography on him, this is what I learned:

The genius of Steve Jobs was that at heart, he was like a child, and ultimately was a creative tyrant.

You cannot bend.

For example, it would have been impossible for Steve Jobs to have started Apple Computer without Steve Wozniak. But ultimately, Steve Wozniak was simply a steppingstone. Why? Steve Wozniak wanted to add ports, and all of this hacker like things to the Apple OS. But Steve Jobs knew that this was not the way. And this is why no one will remember Steve Wozniak, only Steve Jobs.

Even Jony Ive, who is pretty much the design mastermind of most things at Apple. I think the problem of Jony Ive is that she is almost too soft-spoken, too nice, not enough of an asshole like Steve Jobs.

In fact, when someone calls you an asshole, what does that mean?

How dare you talk to me in a non-nice way.

But like Kanye said —

“I’m not mean, I’m just focused!”

Even in Steve Jobs‘s told Jony Ive that in fact, Jony Ive was the dishonest one. When Jony Ive retarded angrily about this, Steve Jobs told him:

“The reason why you’re the bad guy is that you just want everyone to like you. Therefore you don’t tell people what you really think.”

To say what you really think, takes much courage, and also, a healthy dose of being “unethical”, and “immoral”.

Also for myself, and I consider myself a “nice guy“, this is what I have discovered:

I just want everyone to like me.

But the problem is ultimately, I’m starting to think that this is a little bit disingenuous. Why? When you want everyone to like you, you often bend yourself in dishonest ways.

Therefore, my simple thought:

Better to be honest and “bad“, than to be dishonest and be “good”.

9. Why be creative?

I think the ultimate end goal is creativity for the sake of advancing humankind.

There are lots of ways to be creative. For example, a simple one is just to be more creative in your thinking. To think more creatively. To think more aberrantly, to think more unorthodox, and ultimately, to publish share and propagate your thoughts.

Simple ways to do this is on your own blog, your own email newsletter, YouTube, podcast etc.

The best way to build a blog is through bluehost.com and install wordpress.org, for email newsletter I like sendy.co, and for podcast anchor.fm which is now owned by Spotify (search ERIC KIM on Spotify).

10. Creative assignments

I think ultimately, the best way to achieve creativity is through creative restrictions, or creative constraints.

  1. Only shoot macro mode for a whole week
  2. Only shot jpeg for a year
  3. If you shoot with a manual focusing lens, only shoot the minimum focusing distance for a month. For example, if you have a like a rangefinder M camera, pre-focus to .7 meters. LEICA MANUAL // FREE PDF

Upload your best creative photos to arsbeta >


Now what?

  1. EK CREATIVITY SHOP// CREATIVE EVERYDAY PRINT // MOBILE
  2. Just create something. Use your iPhone, your iPad, the Procreate app. Install Zen brush 2, do calligraphy.
  3. Deleting and getting rid of stuff is also a creative act: maybe even a simple idea is get rid of all the unwarranted clothes in your wardrobe, and just donate it to the local Goodwill.
  4. My friend Stan Hudecki did something good, when he moved houses, he purged all of his camera equipment, and gave it to friends and families and kids in need/people who would use it better than he could. He is now part of the Ricoh mafia, Ricoh GR 3X

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Things on my mind

  1. What is the best car? The greatest flex? Maybe a murdered out, all black matte Prius prime. Or a matte pink genesis G 90, with Tonka neon green rims. Or a rolls Royce spectre in Morganite (blush pink)/ customize
  2. The Texas power bar, the Texas power squat bar is totally worth it. I just lifted 895 pounds with it, and I feel great.
  3. Seek the more clever solution: in life, I think my passion is discovering novel solutions to things. Don’t do basic.

Forward the turbo!

If you feel like you even got one creative thought from this, and you have a friend or family man number who will also benefit from it, feel free to forward this as an email to them!

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Fortune favors the insanely creative!


Why Manliness?

The Art of Virtue: How to Become More Masculine and Manly

I think ever since I was a kid, I always strove to become more manly, or masculine, more dominant, etc. Why?

First and foremost, I remember when I was a fat kid, and being teased, and wanting to do something about it. Thus my early impetus is a kid, I remember having a triple chin when I was around 11-12 years old, and I was motivated to make a change. I asked my mom to buy me some dumbbells, I started lifting weights, first starting with 15 pound dumbbells, double stacking them to make them 30 pound dumbbells, and then I think I later got a 50 pound dumbbell. Lots of bicep curls and shoulder presses.

Also, a funny memory that my friend Spencer always reminds me, when I started to put rocks in my backpack and go on long runs.

Media?

Certainly another big one is the media. As a kid growing up, the media I was exposed to was mostly video games, and comic book hero stuff. For example while I never read any comic books, I was really into the video game adaptations of Spider-Man, wolverine, Iron Man etc. And what do all of these superheroes share? Their superhero strength and muscles. I still remember vividly as a kid, when I withdraw my own superheroes I would always draw them with really cut, and lean and large muscles.

Also, when you draw a superhero, they always have a six pack.

Why?

Let us disregard of this modern day nonsense. Let us go back to the fountain.

What is the most classic, OG, original gangster literature we could draw inspiration and wisdom from? The Iliad by Homer.

Let us observe Achilles, the apex of manliness. Who or what is Achilles?

Achilles was a demigod, his mother a goddess, and his father a man. Therefore, Achilles was semi-deus, half men, half God.

What was Achilles’ personality? In the beginning of the Iliad, he is weary you from all of this war campaigning, he just wants to take his prize, Breusis, and go return to his land, and just chill out. Yet, because king Agamemnon seriously disrespects him, he stays by the shores and the ships, where he wails his heart out, pining for the lust of battle.

Some first very interesting things, in the ancient Greek literature, both in the Iliad and odyssey, do you have the heroes in the main protagonist crying a lot. For example, Odysseus by the shore, crying every single day, wanting to go back home to his land and his wife. Achilles also does a lot of crying by the shore, before his mom comes to comfort him.

First interesting lesson:

Real men are permitted to cry.

Yet in modern day times, it is considered unmanly to cry. Ancient Greek literature has shown that it is fine for real men to cry.

How should one interact and engage?

Post Socrates, which is during and after Socrates, much of philosophy has been around the moral and ethical philosophy. Which means,

How SHOULD one interact and engage with in the world?

For example, 99.9% of stoicism is all about becoming impervious to fate, and the external world.

It is your duty to be strong

The first thought I have is that it is your moralistic duty to be strong. To be strong for yourself, your wife, your kids, for what you believe in, etc.

Everyone has different life goals

Everyone has different life goals. Yet, in order to do or attempt anything, you must be strong.

Strength can be interpreted in many different ways. Mental fortitude, physical fortitude, etc.

Physical, physiological strength is the root of it all. Without it, you can’t do nothing.


Then how can you become more manly?

First of all, if you have testes, a.k.a. balls, and a penis, you’re a man. Everyone has the right to choose their gender orientation, but, if you were born with balls, you’re a man.

First, the physical strength component. Can you imagine a superhero who doesn’t have superhero strength? Let us consider all the superheroes, they all have superhero strength. Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc.

How do you build superhero strength? Very simple. One rep max lifting at the gym. I suggest atlas lift and very heavy rack pulls— never more than one single repetition. A simple way to progress is start off with the bar, just do a single repetition, add a 45 pound plate to each side, do a single repetition, and keep progressing.

When you get near your limit, test your limit, and when you figure out what your hard cap limit is, a.k.a. the point in which the weight just won’t budge, then you could adjust as needed.

When you are able to hit a new personal record, then the next time you do it, or the next week, simply add a 2.5 pounder on each side.

A simple progression is that let us consider, if you are able to successfully add a 2.5 pounder on each side of the barbell (5 pounds in total) week over week, that means if a year has 52 weeks, 52×5 is roughly 250 pounds. If you keep up a simple progression, increasing the weight maybe by 3% or even 1% week over week, you should be able to gain and increase your total personal record by at least 200 pounds a year.

Certainly there are some limits to human strength. For example, while Hafþór was able to deadlift 501 kg, around 1200 pounds, it is difficult to imagine a human being lifting 100,000 pounds.


The mental thing?

I know this is the philosophical pursuit:

How SHOULD a “real man” interact and engage with the world around him?

This is where philosophy comes in. Ultimately, there are no moral or ethical truths. In someways, the philosopher is a value-setting tyrant. The philosopher doesn’t need to quote statistics, or past thinkers. The philosopher can simply state his or her opinion, carte blanche, first principles, asserting what he or she believes in, without needing any “proof“, or “data.” My simple rule of thumb is this:

Never trust anybody who quotes the “data“, or “statistics“.


Nutrition and manliness?

Cholesterol is a natural steroid.

What is a steroid anyways? A steroid is something which boosts your testosterone. Considering that testosterone is the hormone for men (testes… test-osterone as being the hormone for your testes and balls), then the higher your testosterone (naturally), the better.


Foods with the highest dietary cholesterol

Dietary cholesterol is only present in meat or animal products.

Beef heart for example:

BEEF HEART NUTRITION PROFILE
Based on 3-ounce serving and % of Recommended Daily Intake ( % RDI) for each nutrient.

Saturated Fat 7%
Cholesterol 71%
Sodium 2%
Potassium 6%
Total Carbohydrates 0%
Protein 27%
Iron 68%
Phosphorus 22%
Copper 24%
Folate 2%
Selenium 48%
Zinc 17%
Riboflavin 61%
Vitamin B12 383%
Magnesium 6%
Vitamin B6 17%
Choline 36%

Organ meats are key

A funny thought:

Are organ meats “meat”?

It’s funny because a lot of it is anti-meat conspiracy people like Bill Gates, etc say —

Eating meat, especially red meat, beef, etc., is not only bad for the environment and the planet, but also bad for you.

I think it is probably certain that beef, animals, and meat products are bad for the planet. However, from a dietary nutritional one, I don’t think that is the case.

For example, I think people who adopt a “plant-based diet“, or a vegetarian one, or even vegan one … I believe this to be positively bad for your health. I have never met a vegetarian or vegan who looks healthy, and also even more funny, I have never met a vegan or vegetarian who doesn’t smoke weed or doesn’t drink alcohol.

I also don’t think we should quote Patrick Bohemian or other people like that because they are also taking “plant based” steroids. This is why it is wise to not trust any “vegan“, or “vegetarian“, or “plant-based“ bodybuilders, calisthenics guys, or fitness Youtubers, because they also take steroids.

Even Friedrich Nietzsche had a funny thought, that most vegetarians are also alcoholics.

Society doesn’t want you to be manly

Modern-day society and consumerism capitalism says

You are not permitted to be manly, yet, you can purchase manliness

For example, you’re not permitted to flex your muscles in public, yet you’re permitted to purchase and drive a loud “muscle car.”

Or, you’re not allowed to walk around in public topless, yet you’re permitted to buy a convertible car, a Lamborghini, a Porsche 911, or any sort of droptop car convertible.

What was Benjamin Franklin say?

When we think of modern-day American values, a lot of comes from Benjamin Franklin, and all a lot of this protestant, Quaker mentality. It says

The supreme virtue is to create and produce capital, yet, not spend or waste any of it.

Also, eastern philosophy, Confucian values say

It is only virtuous to cultivate your mind, not your body.

Why this disregard for the body?

My theory on why the body is disregarded is the notion of a “afterlife”. That is after you die, you don’t need a body anymore, because your soul and mind can live in the afterlife forever.

Or let us consider a lot of this modern day nonsensical Silicon Valley notions of “uploading your consciousness to the cloud“. Or let us consider those black mirror episodes in which people don’t really need bodies anymore.

The hypocrisy

This is the funny hypocrisy in modern day life: a lot of these things are not considered virtuous, yet when we watch movies and consume media, it is.

For example, can you imagine watching Thor, and Chris Hemsworth looking like the typical skinny fat American male?

Or, can you imagine watching wonder woman, and Gal Gadot being the typical overfat Oompa Loompa looking suburban woman?

“But that’s just a movie!”

Then why do you watch it?

Posit your own ideals

It seems that we all agree that tyranny is bad. Yet, I’ve discovered even in liberal circles, a lot of the liberals are intolerant, and also tyrants. They say,

What we propose is the apex of virtue, and you must abide by our rules.

In politics, the virtuous thing is to consider that anyone and everyone should just be left alone.

How about the right?

How about the right, the republican party, or the conservative party?

My general sense is that right-wing people simply just want to be left alone. They want to be left to their own vices.

I think perhaps the prototypical image is like a Kid Rock, living in a trailer on top of a hill, and just living their life more secluded, and cut off from the rest of society.

Yet the problem with all politics, irregardless is it all just comes down to entertainment, “anger porn”, or “outrage porn”. This is why I quit the news.

Also quit Reddit. I think Reddit might actually be worse than traditional mainstream news, because nobody thinks of Reddit as news. Let us consider that Reddit is now owned by Condé Nast, the mega news corporation.

Also, the reason why Reddit is so bad:

Everybody who is on Reddit thinks that they are the only person on Reddit, and they think of themselves as enlightened non-sheep people, whereas anybody who uses Reddit, whether active poster or not is another lemming.

The power of owning your own opinion

Also in modern-day times, one is not allowed to own his or her own opinion. One must always quote “statistics“, or “the data“.

Why this bias?

My thought is that modern day society doesn’t want a bunch of free thinkers. It is not conducive to a servile, well functioning society.

There is no conspiracy

Even if you get a bunch of competent people in a same room, all breathing the same air, they never get any real work done.

For example, in thinking fast and slow, by Daniel Kannemann and Amos Tversky, they talk about the planning fallacy. A bunch of academics came together and said that they would write a book, and they predicted it might only take them five years. It ended up taking them 15 years plus.

The reason why I no conspiracy exists is that nobody is competent. It doesn’t matter how good or evil somebody is, or bodies of people are, nobody is intelligent enough to actually pull off a conspiracy.

No no, there is no world power conspiracy. It is best to just think of everyone as individual actors, aiming to simply enriching themselves. They do this through hard and soft ways, yet ultimately, all of their actions manifest differently.

Back to manliness

Man, manliness. Virtue, virtus… man.

Vir— man.

Man, male.

Is virtue a concept for women?

This is where things get interesting. Is there a such a notion of virtue for women?

Assuming that lexically, virtue, virtuous means man, male, then from a purely dictionary perspective, it doesn’t.

Therefore in the context of woman, or female, the better thing to consider is this; just leave women alone. Just let women do whatever what they want.

This is where I also find it unbecoming for men to criticize feminism. However on the contrary, I also don’t think that women should criticize men for being masculine.

Therefore, my simple idea is this: let women philosophize on female and feminist matters, and let men philosophize on masculine and men matters. We should keep both spheres separate.


Now what?

Philosophize more. If you need some philosophy consulting, shoot me an email at eric@erickim.com

Why?

Why app?

One of the best ways to gain deeper insights about anything is to keep asking yourself the question why?


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Manly movies

Cinema

  1. 300
  2. John Wick
  3. Godfather

Manly cars

Real men drive Hyundai Sonatas or murdered out Prius primes


The best camera?

In terms of overall best camera, Ricoh GR 3X. If you’re interested in doing more cinema, vlogging, Lumix G9.

The most manly clothes?

Ironically enough Lululemon clothing.

I recommend the license to train shorts, and all of the Lululemon compression clothing for men.

The most manly phone?

iPhone mini.

The most manly shoes?

Vibram Five Fingers

The most manly investing?

Crypto and bitcoin


Workouts and exercises to do

First, hit the gym, and do either a one rep max atlas lift, or rack Pull.

Also, get a tan. Spend more time outdoors in the direct sun.

What to quit?

  1. Quit porn
  2. Quit Reddit
  3. Quit the news
  4. Quit Netflix
  5. Quit complaining
  6. Quit chasing women
  7. Quit comparing yourself with others

Quit the basic.


Manly literature

  1. The Iliad by Homer
  2. The Odyssey by Homer
  3. Will to Power, Antichrist, Twilight of the Idols by Nietzsche

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Fortune favors the strong.


Why Manliness?

I think ever since I was a kid, I always strove to become more manly, or masculine, more dominant, etc. Why?

First and foremost, I remember when I was a fat kid, and being teased, and wanting to do something about it. Thus my early impetus is a kid, I remember having a triple chin when I was around 11-12 years old, and I was motivated to make a change. I asked my mom to buy me some dumbbells, I started lifting weights, first starting with 15 pound dumbbells, double stacking them to make them 30 pound dumbbells, and then I think I later got a 50 pound dumbbell. Lots of bicep curls and shoulder presses.

Also, a funny memory that my friend Spencer always reminds me, when I started to put rocks in my backpack and go on long runs.

Media?

Certainly another big one is the media. As a kid growing up, the media I was exposed to was mostly video games, and comic book hero stuff. For example while I never read any comic books, I was really into the video game adaptations of Spider-Man, wolverine, Iron Man etc. And what do all of these superheroes share? Their superhero strength and muscles. I still remember vividly as a kid, when I withdraw my own superheroes I would always draw them with really cut, and lean and large muscles.

Also, when you draw a superhero, they always have a six pack.

Why?

Let us disregard of this modern day nonsense. Let us go back to the fountain.

What is the most classic, OG, original gangster literature we could draw inspiration and wisdom from? The Iliad by Homer.

Let us observe Achilles, the apex of manliness. Who or what is Achilles?

Achilles was a demigod, his mother a goddess, and his father a man. Therefore, Achilles was semi-deus, half men, half God.

What was Achilles’ personality? In the beginning of the Iliad, he is weary you from all of this war campaigning, he just wants to take his prize, Breusis, and go return to his land, and just chill out. Yet, because king Agamemnon seriously disrespects him, he stays by the shores and the ships, where he wails his heart out, pining for the lust of battle.

Some first very interesting things, in the ancient Greek literature, both in the Iliad and odyssey, do you have the heroes in the main protagonist crying a lot. For example, Odysseus by the shore, crying every single day, wanting to go back home to his land and his wife. Achilles also does a lot of crying by the shore, before his mom comes to comfort him.

First interesting lesson:

Real men are permitted to cry.

Yet in modern day times, it is considered unmanly to cry. Ancient Greek literature has shown that it is fine for real men to cry.

How should one interact and engage?

Post Socrates, which is during and after Socrates, much of philosophy has been around the moral and ethical philosophy. Which means,

How SHOULD one interact and engage with in the world?

For example, 99.9% of stoicism is all about becoming impervious to fate, and the external world.

It is your duty to be strong

The first thought I have is that it is your moralistic duty to be strong. To be strong for yourself, your wife, your kids, for what you believe in, etc.

Everyone has different life goals

Everyone has different life goals. Yet, in order to do or attempt anything, you must be strong.

Strength can be interpreted in many different ways. Mental fortitude, physical fortitude, etc.

Physical, physiological strength is the root of it all. Without it, you can’t do nothing.


Then how can you become more manly?

First of all, if you have testes, a.k.a. balls, and a penis, you’re a man. Everyone has the right to choose their gender orientation, but, if you were born with balls, you’re a man.

First, the physical strength component. Can you imagine a superhero who doesn’t have superhero strength? Let us consider all the superheroes, they all have superhero strength. Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc.

How do you build superhero strength? Very simple. One rep max lifting at the gym. I suggest atlas lift and very heavy rack pulls— never more than one single repetition. A simple way to progress is start off with the bar, just do a single repetition, add a 45 pound plate to each side, do a single repetition, and keep progressing.

When you get near your limit, test your limit, and when you figure out what your hard cap limit is, a.k.a. the point in which the weight just won’t budge, then you could adjust as needed.

When you are able to hit a new personal record, then the next time you do it, or the next week, simply add a 2.5 pounder on each side.

A simple progression is that let us consider, if you are able to successfully add a 2.5 pounder on each side of the barbell (5 pounds in total) week over week, that means if a year has 52 weeks, 52×5 is roughly 250 pounds. If you keep up a simple progression, increasing the weight maybe by 3% or even 1% week over week, you should be able to gain and increase your total personal record by at least 200 pounds a year.

Certainly there are some limits to human strength. For example, while Hafþór was able to deadlift 501 kg, around 1200 pounds, it is difficult to imagine a human being lifting 100,000 pounds.


The mental thing?

I know this is the philosophical pursuit:

How SHOULD a “real man” interact and engage with the world around him?

This is where philosophy comes in. Ultimately, there are no moral or ethical truths. In someways, the philosopher is a value-setting tyrant. The philosopher doesn’t need to quote statistics, or past thinkers. The philosopher can simply state his or her opinion, carte blanche, first principles, asserting what he or she believes in, without needing any “proof“, or “data.” My simple rule of thumb is this:

Never trust anybody who quotes the “data“, or “statistics“.


SUPERHUMAN.

How to become superhuman:


What does it mean to become superhuman?

First of all, everyone is human, and everyone has the ability to become superhuman, irregardless of race, gender, sex, nationality etc.

Super simply means above.

Therefore, becoming superhero or a superhuman is simply a philosophical concept.

To me, I have some ideas:

The first idea is that one must strive to gain superhuman strength. For example, my Atlas lift of 890 pounds, which is nine plates, 10, and a five pounder and 2.5 pounder taped on top. Considering that I maxed out the barbell, I just ordered a Texas power squat bar, with longer sleeves, black zinc with chrome sleeves, which should allow me more leeway to add more weight, “safely.” My new current strength goals:

  1. Atlas lift 1,200 pounds
  2. Rack pull, 950 pounds
  3. Floor bench press, 750 pounds

Why superhuman strength?

First of all, you can easily achieve this without taking steroids or any weird stuff. If you are an avid gym goer, I easily suspect you could at least atlas lift over four plates, five plates, six plates, seven plates, eight plates. A simple innovation I’ve made in the realm of weightlifting is this:

Reduce the range of motion, increase the weight.

It is funny because this is actually far “safer“, than doing the “full range of motion.”

What do I feel like the day after doing an atlas lift of 890 pounds?

The funny thing is with traditional squat, everyone is always so concerned about their knees, and maybe their back. However after doing the atlas lift of 890 pounds, my current personal record, and being insanely sore the day after, I don’t really feel anything on my knees nor my back. I feel it all in my traps, my neck, and my upper back.


How to do the atlas lift

To do the atlas lift, the general gist— imagine like you’re doing a standard squat, just get under the bar, and just try to lift the weight up with your shoulders and your legs, and just get it off the rack even half a centimeter, hold it for a few seconds and just put it down. And this is the reason why it is so safe:

If you’re not strong enough to lift it, it just won’t budge.

Truth be told when it comes to the gym and weightlifting injuries, typically speaking it is not from one rep max attempts, but rather, churning out multiple repetitions of some exercise. For example, a lot of people get injured when “training to failure“. Also, I think 99.99% of injuries at the gym involve some sort of bench press, shoulder press, military press, or overhead pressing motion thing. It seems that human shoulders are actually quite fragile, but what is insanely strong and robust? Human legs.

Also a good reason not to do CrossFit. I think the whole methodology behind CrossFit is insanely bizarre, as it yields numerous shoulder injuries, from a lot of athletes trying to churn out multiple shoulder presses and clean and jerks and shoulder cleans at a certain fast tempo, and also trying to train their “endurance“. Also, I have never met a CrossFit athlete in real life with a demigod physique, the only ones I have seen with impressive physiques are the ones who perform at the CrossFit games, who are all certainly on steroids, both the men and women.

No more bench

Therefore, stop doing bench presses or shoulder press exercises. Instead, only do leg exercises.

Also, the upside of doing leg exercises is that your leg muscles are at least 100 times bigger and stronger than your arms and upper body. The real demigods have demigod legs, and torsos, relatively small chests and shoulders. What is more impressive is to have an insanely muscular thighs, legs, and back. Biceps, shoulders, and chest is overrated. For example just study the Farnese Hercules proportions by Richard Dalton.

Biceps are for losers

In fact, I believe that you can simply get rid of all bicep exercises, and just replace it with heavy one rep max rack pulls instead— 780 pounds and beyond. This will also build you an insanely superhuman back.

I believe that with superhuman strength, you will naturally boost all of your productive hormones, whether it be your testosterone, adrenaline, or any other hormones we have yet discovered.


Superhuman productivity?

Also, I think all of us Silicon Valley tech nerds strive to become super humanly productive. However, nobody has ever given this a critical thought.

My simple thought is that productivity means producing much. To become less distracted, more focused, email and phone minimalism.

For example, a practice I have kept up for a long time is this: everyday, uninstall at least one app from your phone, iPad, or laptop.

For example, a list of things you could uninstall from your phone with zero negative consequence:

  1. Uninstall Gmail or your email app from your phone. If you really need to send emails, just do it from your laptop or desktop.
  2. Uninstall Netflix, or any streaming service things from your phone. Better yet, unsubscribe from any streaming service subscription, whether it be Netflix, Amazon prime video, Apple TV+, Hulu, Disney+ etc. If there’s a brand new show or series that you really want to watch, like the Mandalorian, just subscribe for it only, and then once you’re done watching the series, Unsubscribe from the service, and also delete the app from your device or phone.
  3. Uninstall all social media things from your phone, uninstall YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. If you want to access these things just do it from your laptop.

Superhuman sleep

A foolish optimization that a lot of people do is that they think in order to become more productive or superhuman, it is to sleep less. However conversely I believe the opposite; to become superhuman you strive to sleep more. For example, if you want to become more superhuman, I suggest trying to sleep at least 10 to 12 hours a night. Even Seneca when he sleeps well, he will sometimes sleep for 13 to 14 hours straight.

How can you sleep more? It is mostly via negativa:

  1. Quit alcohol, it impairs your sleep
  2. Quit weed, marijuana, or smoking weed, THC, cannabis, weed vapor, weed gummy’s, etc. While this does help you fall asleep, it impairs the quality of your sleep
  3. Don’t use melatonin to fall asleep
  4. Charge your phone or your iPad or your device in a separate room
  5. If you need to fall asleep at night, read a paperback book, don’t use Kindle or iPad, because it still engages your brain
  6. Don’t take warm showers before you sleep, only take cold ones. Your body actually requires a small dip in temperature in order to fall asleep
  7. For dinner, have 100% carnivore dinner, striving to eat foods as high in cholesterol as possible, beef liver, beef heart, beef intestine, beef ribs, beef neckbones etc. This will help you fall asleep better.
  8. During the day, go to the gym at least once, maybe even twice. Attempt a one rep max lift of something, and I can guarantee you will sleep well at night.

Why become superhuman?

I think everyone in life wants to be happy. But once you’re happy, then what?

For myself, my only life goal is to become stronger, more powerful, both metaphorically and literally.

Always striving to go beyond

It seems that no matter how much we have, we always want more. And I think this is a good thing. Why? I believe one of the greatest virtues of being human is always striving for more. Without this, there is no reason to live, no optimism in life.

I think the world-weary line of thinking is this:

Life is all about suffering and pain, and the way we should strive to live is to reduce pain and suffering as much as we can.

I personally believe this to be a very anemic and weak line of thinking.

Instead —

Life is great, and being born is the greatest blessing that any human could have ever wished for.

Then the question is, how can we strive to live life to the max?


Superhuman thinking

Peter Thiel one said, it is better to risk boldness than triviality.

I believe that one of the greatest virtues of America, being American is that it is the land of infinite possibility, imagination, and possibility.

For example, nothing is promised or guaranteed in America, it seems that the only promises that we got in modern-day life is the promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Also, what is promised in America? Justice, the law, protection of private property etc. But beyond this, nothing. In fact, I believe life in America to be cold, cruel, hard, and mercurial. There is zero to little assistance for the poor, homeless, or even people struggling. Social services are a farce.

However irregardless of this, I suppose the good thing is that everyone has the freedom to get a job. I think In-N-Out Burger pays $20 an hour!! Even apparently nowadays, starting salary at McDonald’s is $16 an hour!


Think insanely epically

What makes Elon Musk so great? He is just a mere human, yet, I think it is his insanely epic vision which is the most admirable. For example, wanting to put humans on Mars, and also, starting spaceX, cofounding a Tesla, and transforming Tesla into what it is today. Honestly anybody who criticizes or critiques Elon Musk is a small human being.

I say in life, considering you only got one, better to aim insanely insanely high and fail, then to set your sights too low and obtain them.


Elevate your thinking

Fresh new EK EXPERIENCES:

  1. Become superhuman in DOWNTOWN LA, June 17, Saturday, 2023
  2. Embark on the journey of a lifetime in SAIGON VIETNAM, July 15-16th, 2023 (Saturday Sunday) this summer
  3. October 14th: Philly workshop DETAILS TBA

ALL UPCOMING EK EXPERIENCES


How to think beyond

  1. Read the Iliad and think to yourself … what is NOT said or mentioned?
  2. Read Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  3. Read Invent and Wander by Jeff Bezos // my book notes.

EK PHOTO SUPPLY

PRODUCTS TO BECOME SUPERHUMAN:

  1. HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: BECOME IMMORTAL
  2. HENRI SHOULDER STRAP: GET THE GOODS!
  3. HENRI WRIST STRAP PRO: FOR THE PROS

DISCOVER ALL HAPTIC PHOTO SUPPLY >


Stuff I’ve been buying

  1. Texas squat bar— black zinc with chrome sleeves. Chris the manager at my gym said I could just buy it, bring it into the gym, and leave it there, and use it at the gym! I plan on just using it at the gym, letting other people use it, and when I ultimately move to LA, just bringing it with me. I also read a funny review on the Texas power bars website of a user, who said that while some people leave their kids fancy watches, I will leave Seneca behind this Texas power bar, and I cannot wait until he could at atlas lift over 1500 pounds!
  2. I’ve discovered that buying floss is not a sustainable option. Ultimately you always run out of floss, which is insanely annoying. I ordered a portable water pic on Amazon, and it is the best thing ever. I like it more than my iPhone! I’m amazed at the battery holds the charge for so long, and also it delivers a lot of power. It is really good for me, because after I got braces, my teeth are insanely tight, and there are always meat chunks and other things which are stuck in between, which makes flossing and cleaning my mouth a pain in the ass. This water pick is totally worth it.

Future thoughts

  1. I’m really interested in the new Vinfast electric cars, not because it is the best car, Tesla is, but I am just so impressed that within such a short period of time, Vietnam was able to produce her own electric car, and sell it successfully in the states! From a entrepreneurial perspective, this is insanely inspiring.
  2. I really like the design of the new electric polestar cars, yet when you’re inside it, the interior actually feels very cheap. Don’t be fooled by all of this fake Swedish marketing, Volvo was bought out by a Chinese company, and polestar is also effectively a Chinese company (Geely). While I have nothing personally against China and mainland China, the issue with China and Chinese corporations is that ultimately they always cut corners, because they are more profit driven rather than soul driven, like let’s say a Steve Jobs.

Photo thoughts

What is the future of photography? I’m not really sure, but I’m going to make it.

Start off with arsbeta.com


Forward the turbo!

If this even gave you one interesting idea, feel free to forward to a friend!

EK NEWS


Start, Books


Fortune favors the insanely brave!


Books to read

  1. Iliad PDF
  2. The Will to power pdf

More EK BOOKS >

Conquer on!
ERIC

GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

After a lot of thinking and philosophizing, this is what I have gathered:

I think the ultimate privilege is simply to strive to make great photos, become a great photographer, and become an ever greater photographer.


How?

The first thought to think and consider is this:

What does it mean to become a great photographer, and is it even a possible thing to become the “greatest“ photographer?


Being inspired to make photos until you die at the age of 120

OK so let us assume that I could predict with you with 100% certainty that you will live to be 120 years old, in phenomenal health. If that were the case, how can you structure your life in such a way which allows you to stay inspired and motivated to make photos until you die at 122?

First things first, don’t own a home. At worst, just own a condo. A lot of my successful friends, like my friends Don Dillon and Tim Flangan have done this; the upside of owning a condo is that you can just travel, and travel the world, and ultimately you will still have somewhere to keep your stuff, and go back home to. And at least when you’re on the road, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your home or the outside of your house.

Second, structuring your life which allows maximum movement and independence. This means a life in which you spend a good amount of time on the road, traveling, in other foreign places. It could be as simple as wing road trips in America, or more complex like traveling internationally. The world is a big ass place. And this is what gives me great hope.

For example, there are still 1 trillion places that have not yet been to, which I am interested in. I’m interested in going to Lagos Nigeria, Morocco, South America, Eastern Europe, Hungary, etc. And before all of this Ukraine Putin stuff, I was very interested in going to Russia Moscow.

Making great photos

I hate to say it, but certainly there is a hierarchy in terms of great photos compared to not as great photos. What is the differentiating factor?

For myself, when I study the work of Henri Cartier Bresson, and look at his more advanced works, he is really good at the arabesque composition. The squiggly line composition, which adds elegance to his photos.

Also, a Dionysian aesthetic. This means a dark, hard aesthetic. Extremely high contrast black and white, extremely high grain. For example, lately I’ve been shooting on my Lumix G9 camera, after my Ricoh GR 3X broke. I was able to use the in camera JPEG setting of dynamic monochrome, adjusting the contrast to the max, the grain to the max, and I think I have discovered a new aesthetic which I might even prefer over the Ricoh GR 3X in camera high contrast black and white.

In terms of longevity, I believe black and white is more durable than color. Why is this?

First and foremost, we don’t see the world in black-and-white. This alone is the massive differentiating factor between black-and-white photography and color photography.

Secondly, color, color science, digital cameras, sensors, sensor technology is always changing in terms of color. Also JPEG, RAW settings. CMOS vs CCD sensors for color, etc. this alone is a massive headache; and there is also a quadrillion different types of ways to print color, display color, and also view monitors with different color profiles etc. Black and white makes your life 1 trillion times easier.


The path to become a great photographer

How does one become a great photographer?

I think first of all, I think having an over stated ego, over inflated ego, over inflated self-confidence is a virtue and a good thing. First, I think you must have the desire, the audacity, and also the chutzpah to desire to become a great photographer.

I believe the 99.99% issue with modern day life is that it is considered immoral to desire to become great. That somehow, greatness, and striving to become great, is actually considered a vice.

Modern day life says one must be quiet, low-key, and ashamed of oneself. It is considered a vice to self promote, have self confidence in oneself etc.

I say, perhaps the best thing you could teach yourself, and also teach our kids is in fact to gain more self-confidence, to gain more audacity.

Great aesthetics?

In terms of making great photos, my simple thought is that making great photos is all about making photos which are strong, simple, and hard.

For example, some aesthetic thoughts:

  1. Extremely high contrast black-and-white
  2. Simple backgrounds
  3. Some sort of strong character, subject, or happening or mood behind the photo

Making “objectively” great photos?

Something which I believe which is very unorthodox:

Personally speaking, I do believe that it is actually possible to make an objectively great photo.

But the question is, who decides?

First of all, you decide. Then maybe EK or arsbeta.com can decide.

Whose opinion matters?

In terms of photography, and your photos, whose opinion truly matters?

For example, do you want everyone to universally call you a great photographer, and bow down before you?

This is what I have discovered after having attended a magnum workshop, meeting Magnum Photographers, etc:

Nobody is happy.


Becoming a happy photographer?

I had a funny idea, if I want to start a gym, I want to call it “happy gym”.

Why? Isn’t the point of going to the gym just be happy, become happier?

Even Joe Gold, the guy who started golds gym said “the point of going to the gym is to have fun!”

I think the same as in photography. Isn’t and shouldn’t the purpose of photography to be happy?


Resources to become a great photographer

  1. STREET PHOTO STARTER KIT // HAPTIC SHOPPE
  2. BOOKS
  3. MASTERS // How to get started

EK WORK

CONQUER:

  1. CONQUER PHOTOGRAPHY AND LIFE IN DOWNTOWN LA June 17th
  2. July 15-16th: SAIGON WORKSHOP (details to be announced)
  3. OCT 14th— PHILLY WORKSHOP DETAILS TBA

New directions

  1. iPad is a brick? I insanely love the iPad Pro, but I’m starting to realize it is a brick. Why? I keep hitting the 2 TB family limit, and irregardless of how many times I go back and delete all of my old photos and videos etc., I still keep hitting the max. Perhaps it is a good time to just transition back into Adobe Lightroom or Lightroom classic, and just do it on my laptop, off the cloud.
  2. Testosterone in photography? It is my personal theory that there is a connection between testosterone and photography. Perhaps when we see a beautiful woman, or we want to shoot a street photo, or we want to shoot a street portrait, this boosts and affects and influences our testosterone? As a consequence, perhaps the best thing you could do for your street photography and your photography and life in general is striving to naturally boost your testosterone, consuming more beef, organ meats, and hitting one rep maxes at the gym. 885 pounds atlas lift.
  3. I’m over Tesla? Me and Seneca just checked out the new Tesla model S in ultra red, and it looks great. I think Tesla and Elon really nailed it here; the previous red colors were not vibrant nor bold enough. Now, I think the Tesla model S plaid in ultra red is probably a perfect car. Especially with the all black interior and the new yoke steering wheel; there is literally no flaws I see. Yet once I have discovered perfect, I no longer feel a strong desire or need to own it anymore? Therefore, maybe the most intelligent strategy then is to just buy Tesla stock, or invest in anything Elon Musk does. Maybe I’ll be the first person to own $1 million worth of Tesla stock, yet not actually own a Tesla car myself.

Photo

  1. How can you gain critical feedback and constructive feedback to improve your photography? Upload your photos to arsbeta.com
  2. I still think there is a very good opportunity to be had when it comes to websites and blogs for your photography. What I am personally curious about is how to design a website which is very conducive to this.

LAST.

He or she who lasts the longest is the most “successful”.


LAST LONG(ER)

How to last (long)


Thoughts on Lasting. Lasting Long

I was randomly playing some songs from Jay Z‘s album 4:44 in my head today, and some thoughts:

Will this song, and this album last, or not?

Probably not. Why?

Jay Z‘s 444 album was kind of a strange album, part apology album for Jay Z continually cheating on Beyoncé, and also, I think Jay Z just wanted to put out an album for the sake of putting out an album, maybe in order to make money, etc.

Why last?

Nietzsche once said that durability was one of the highest human goods, or things on planet earth. Durability.

Merino wool?

I used to be a huge proponent of merino, especially for traveling, living in hot and humid climates like living in Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. I still think that merino wool is phenomenal, for example the outlier.nyc merino wool tshirt was insanely great (the ramie, ramielust t shirt is interesting to me for travel this summer to Korea and Vietnam). However, this is by far the biggest issue of merino wool:

It just doesn’t last.

For example, I have at least three or four outlier.nyc merino wool T-shirts, which have essentially been torn to shreds, through over-wear and tear over the years. They are all just sitting in a drawer now.

This is a tricky thing, because, the thought:

Does durability matter, if, your goal is to have the most apex thing?

For example, let us say that you are traveling in the hot and humid climate for the summer, and you want the best possible T-shirt, or material to travel with. You can only bring one or two. Then certainly you will choose the best thing, which is 100% merino wool, in lieu of knowing that it may only last a year or two tops.

Maybe the same analogy with road bikes, or racing bicycles, let us assume that the chassis is 100% carbon fiber. If you are doing a race, and you need every last advantage, certainly having a chassis which is 100% carbon fiber is best, although it is more prone to breaking, and it will not last as long as an aluminum or steel chassis.

Having to replace things is just annoying

Are currently speaking, I have a conundrum; I love the record your digital cameras, however they keep breaking on me. For example, my Rico GR 3X, which I might have only bought a year or two ago, has already went kaput, it doesn’t even charge or turn on anymore.

Or, my previous Ricoh GRIII, which has this perpetual lens error issue.

I contacted Ricoh to send me a new one, however, they just told me to repair it. To send it in, and pay around $340 to fix it. I can’t be fucked doing this.

Therefore, trying to think long, I was thinking:

What is a camera that I could purchase, which I know will be reliable, durable, and will last a very long time, and also is very compact, which won’t break on me?

Retractable lenses are bad

First note from a design perspective; cameras which have retractable lenses, seem like a good idea because it makes the camera more compact and slim, but are horrible because it leads to more parts which will lead to breaking.

Thus, the best camera in the best lens is a lens which is non-retractable. This means all Ricoh GR cameras are out.

Leica camera is interesting, because at least, their cameras either have fixed lenses, like on their Leica Q series cameras, or, interchangeable lenses, like on their Leica M cameras.

However a big downside of this is that the cameras are insanely big and bulky. Don’t be fooled, the Leica M digital rangefinder camera is still a very big and bulky camera, not that much lighter than turning around a DSLR camera.

From a design perspective, the Leica Q camera is very cool, I reviewed the Leica Q2 a few years ago and I liked it, but the big issue with the Leica Q camera:

I can’t stop help thinking that it is just a really expensive Panasonic Lumix camera.

Also, the big issue with the Leica Q camera is that it is also like having a very very expensive iPhone. Why? Can you imagine as if you spent $6000 on a iPhone 6s, do you imagine that you’ll still be using it today?

Likewise, even if you have the newest Leica camera, Leica Q2 camera, I think the longevity on it will be quite poor.

Also, I am sure there is already a Leica Q3 in the works — just hold out.


Just buy what is newest?

From a longevity perspective, it seems that a good strategy is to just buy what is the newest. That is, which was released in the current year.

For example, as I voice dictate these words on my iPad Pro M1 chip, only buy a new digital camera which has been released in the year 2023, or within the last few months.

Also the same thing goes with devices, smartphones, iPhones, etc.


Cars

For example, the good thing of lagging behind, and being a late adopter is many-fold:

For example, let us say that you were an unfortunate purchaser of an early model Tesla model S, or Tesla model 3. Very quickly, your car got outdated. For example, to my understanding the touchscreens of the older Tesla model S cars are very slow, unresponsive and laggy. Or, to my understanding the brand new Tesla model 3 has a different type of battery, battery architecture from the older Tessa model 3 with the chrome trimmings.

Or, now that the all black everything aesthetic is becoming more mainstream, even the misfortune of owning an older Tesla car, with chrome trim instead of just simple black trim.

The difficult and tricky thing with purchasing a new car, electric car, or a Tesla car is this:

The battery technology in cars and electric cars is evolving so quickly, it seems on wise to actually purchased or on a brand new electric car, because within a year or two, or two or three years, it will probably already get outdated.

Or let us consider how everyone is excited and waiting for the cybertruck to come out. Once the cyber truck comes out, everyone will want to get rid of their Tesla model three cars, their Tesla model Y cars, they’re a Tesla model X cars, and their Tesla model S cars.

Or, when the Tesla roadster finally comes out, everyone will want to get rid of their Tesla model S plaid cars.

iPhone Pro?

The reason why it seems wise to always delay and lag in regards to buying a new phone or iPhone is this:

There will always be a new new iPhone.

For example, it seems that the iPhone 11 Pro, 12 Pro, 13 Pro, and 14 Pro has evolved very quickly. As I write these words, iPhone 14 Pro is already dated. I’m sure that the iPhone 15 Pro is already in the works.

As a consequence, imagine that you bought an iPhone 14 pro just a few months ago, imagine your extreme dismay and frustration when the new iPhone 15 pro comes out.

So in regards to phones, or iPhones, what is the best strategy?

What I have personally discovered is just buy the cheapest, newest iPhone. Currently speaking that is the iPhone SE. Even though I don’t really like it that much, at least it is cheap, and the processor is actually quite new, and I don’t feel like I am married to it.


Invest in the new

It seems that the best strategy is to just buy what is new, newest. Why?

First of all, technology moves so quickly. By buying or investing in what is new, typically speaking there is a higher likelihood of longevity. Even buying a technological thing, whether phone, tablet, laptop, car, electric car, Tesla, digital camera etc … even something first released 1 year ago, or 2 years ago is too old.


How to have you last?

In regards to “dedication”, what does this really mean?

My personal thought is only work on that what you truly care for, no compromise here. You must really really really really really insanely care for it.

For example, my insane passion for weightlifting, powerlifting, hypelifting, and innovation in health diet and fitness. Why do I care for this so much? Because, I think it is critical onto human thriving.

Don’t force yourself to do it

A clear distinction here is things that you think you “should“ do, and things that you must do.

For example, I think the reason why it is so hard for people to start exercising and working out, going to the gym is this:

They don’t want to.

For many people, it feels like this strange duty that one must do, rather than something that one wants to do.

Maybe the same thing is with blogging, vlogging, starting a YouTube channel, etc.; nobody should feel like they must do something against their own will, a lot of people think they “should“ do it, for marketing, business purposes etc. However, I say if your soul is not really into it, don’t even bother.

100% passion or nothing.

How I write

For myself, I only write about things which I am personally curious about, and things which I personally care for.

Perhaps the writer that I have been inspired by the most is Nassim Taleb. He has broken all “proper“ rules of writing, and as a consequence, his writing is fun, personal, lively, wise, deep and strong.

Ironically enough, I kind of make my living as a “writer“, even though I do not consider myself a writer. I consider myself more of a blogger, but even that is something I don’t really think of myself as. I just think of myself as a curious individual, and my passion is to just share my thoughts, and whatever mode or media which best suits for it.


The downside with iPhone photos, even iPhone pro photos

I think that the iPhone, iPhone pro is a very great photo creation device. However the massive downside:

I don’t think it makes photos which last.

Certainly you can make great photos with it, but for truly truly great photos, photos which will last the test of time … no. For myself, the only photos that I’ve shot which have lasted were on my RICOH GR camera, Ricoh GRII, my Ricoh GR three, my Ricoh GR3X, as well as my Leica M9 camera, and also my film cameras (Ricoh GR1s film camera, Contax T3 film camera, Leica M6 camera, and Leica MP film camera).

Should we just keep buying Ricoh GR cameras ad infinitum?

My insane annoyance with RICOH GR cameras is that they don’t seem to last for longer than a year or two. What should we do about this?


Long thinking

The reason why I love Jeff Bezos as an entrepreneur is that his personal vision and forecasting the future was phenomenal. And I think Jeff is one of those few entrepreneurs who was able to think at the 30-40 year level.

Why think Long? My thought is when you try to think at the 30 or 40 year level, you don’t muck around with the inconsequential.

There are certain facts:

  1. You are currently alive
  2. One day you will die

Then the question is, in between those two facts, what do you want to do with your life? Assuming that your body is the bow and arrow, how do you want to use your body as a tool, an instrument, or even a weapon?

Long photo thoughts

I believe it is the goal and aspiration of every photographer to create photos which last.

LONG PHOTOS.

“Vita brevis, ars longa.” (Life is short, art is long — art will last a long time)

Your life is short, however, the artwork you create, however you define artwork, has a potential for lasting a very long time.

So, how can you make photos that will last a long time?

The first thought is design your life and your world and your existence in such a way which maximizes your opportunity and ability to make photos. The simple fact:

The more you travel, the more you go outside, the more adventures you go on, and the more time you click the shutter, the more likely you are to make some photos which last.

Happiness lasts

Another funny thought, photos that I’ve shot out of happiness and joy and exuberance have also lasted. Why? When I look at my photos which were shot during periods in which I was very happy, it re-instills in me that happiness.

HOW TO OUTLAST?

Over-lasting is good.

A simple thought is not to just outlast others, but to “over-last”. For example, Nietzsche will easily be remembered for over 300 years. The same goes with Elon Musk. Also probably Kanye West. I think Jay Z will be forgotten. For example, nowadays young kids know who Kanye West is, nobody knows who Jay Z or Eminem is.

Thinking insanely long

Elon Musk — whether he succeeds are not in taking us to Mars, the attempt is great and interesting. Certainly he is already scheduled with Tesla, despite all of the naysayers. Why does everyone they say Tesla, and Elon Musk?

People feel small compared to him.

Even Peter Thiel once said that Elon Musk is a bad role model, because it is too difficult to emulate him.

Becoming more “crazy” or “Asperger’s?

There is one theory, sort of outlined by Peter Thiel in 0 to 1 in which he says,

Many successful entrepreneurs are successful, because they have some sort of low level of “Asperger’s”.

Or disregard for social norms.

For example, if you played by traditional social rules, better to just become an accountant, or consultant, or some sort of boring middle management, or executive. These people are never remembered.

Do you want to be remembered?

I believe it was Heraclitus who once said:

Men should seek the greatest human good, which is immortal glory and fame amongst mortals, yet the majority of men just stuff themselves like cattle.

A first critical thing you must ask yourself:

Do I even care to be remembered?


Me?

For myself, I can go both ways. If I am forgotten, no biggie, when you’re dead, and after you die, you cannot reap the benefits of your fame or notoriety.

However, what I am interested in, and what I do have an interest and passion is this:

To create things which are useful to my fellow human beings who are alive right now, and maybe, being a benefit and an asset and turbocharger to future humans. After I’m dead.

Why do I care for this? Maybe there is some sort of intrinsic altruism here, or maybe it is just from my Catholic Christian upbringing.

Simply put, my thought is this:

I just want to create and share information and knowledge which I wish I had access when I was a kid, when I was 12, 16, 18 years old, 21 years old, etc.

For example, things like

  1. How to transform my passion into a living, and whether this was even possible or not.
  2. How to become famous, get a lot of likes and favorites, make my photos famous, make myself famous, travel the world, be distinguished, have solo exhibitions, print my own photo books, etc.
  3. The limits of human physical strength. This is towards my powerlifting 2.0 idea.

Go Long

Think 30, 40, 50 years beyond. I think this is the best way to think long.

ERIC


EK WORK

Fresh out of the oven: ERIC KIM turbocharging workshop, downtown LA, June 17th, 2023 >


EK TURBO THINKING

To turbo charge your thinking, shoot me an email at Eric [at] EricKim.com


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