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bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

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Paul Graham's newest essay
bird poops on plum branch
How to do what you love:
the organic route: as you become more eminent, gradually to increase the parts of your job that you like at the expense of those you don't.

the two-job route: to work at things you don't like to get money to work on things you do.
I think a third route might be lower your costs, make up a job for yourself, and convince people (including yourself) that you can do it. Bootstrap. Each of those three tasks is really difficult though... giving up things that you're used to is one of the least comfortable feelings in the world; making up a job for yourself is difficult because it requires that you know what kind of job you want; convincing people (including yourself) is almost impossible because nobody (including yourself) can ever really be convinced of anything. We are all incredible skeptics of happiness.

Oh, and the forth route: be really lucky. I think that's my route. To say it was anything else would be hubris. And then I'd be ripe for tragedy. The lucky souls just go along and everything seems to go right... but it's nothing to take pride in really.

"yo lady holla back 4 a fresh attack"

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i'm lucky and i do what i love, but all of a sudden i wish i was a hot rapper.

i know! me too.

yal b like flirtin wid me, fools b like shit “dat verse is curtains 4 me”

god, maybe i just want to marry one instead.

a variation of this goal then is just for you: fall in love with a really hot, good rapper though maybe you can take out one of those adjectives... :)

I'm not sure that luck is a route, a means to the end. I think maybe it just makes the process easier. Like you are lucky, I think, with timing, in that what you love to do is also lucrative right now, so it makes the path much less bumpy that for, say, a poet. But you still made deliberate choices to get where you are, didn't you? You didn't stumble into the Robot Coop offices off the street, after all.

Do you think you would still be doing what you love if doing what you loved made for more struggle? That's probably impossible to answer.

you're right, luck isn't a route... not in the way that you can deliberately take the lucky route. well, i used to want to be a writer of great american novels and deliberately changed to this nerdy stuff for many reasons, one being that i found a secret world where the creative side of writing could be disguised as COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, and another being that i realized that what i've always envisioned about the importance of writing was rooted in how the world worked 200 years ago... and the spirit of the thing that i loved has moved on since then... but we've talked about this.

i liked caterina's quote somewhere about how the current state of our corner of software world is aptly named, "revenge of the liberal arts majors".

yeah, we did talk about it...you should give yourself more credit, is what I am trying to say. just don't explode.

i don't need credit unless i can buy that old car shop on 11th and pine with it. :)

har har...speaking of luck, I just heard there were mudslides on the train tracks between Seattle and Vancouver last night. We barely made it home alive! Okay not really. We barely made it home on time-ish.

i think it would be fun to get stuck on a train for a while. we could raid the bistro for more wine and watch movies (it would be less fun if those things ran out), though, we'd have to find another car to hang out in because those people next to us were really annoying.

yeah I guess that could be fun. especially if we had the good seats with the table!

Ugh, those people were really driving me crazy but I can't quite put my finger on why. Also, I couldn't figure out if they were passive-aggressively arguing or just sort of stupid. "Would you get in my headset out the bag?" "by headset you mean..." "my headphones." "where are they?" "in the bag."

yeah, if i was that guy i would kill myself. that lady was just sitting there on her ass ordering him around with the stupidest string of instructions. first a jacket, then something IN the jacket "which jacket?", then a NAPKIN ("how about this napkin?" and then a few minutes later, "ah, here's just the napkin"). and then he kept forgetting what his orders were, "i don't know what i'm looking for". AND they were slow talkers.

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