From Running Your Mind to Running Your Own City

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. Meta Habits. You should have a meta habit. What’s that you say? I mean a framework for making new habits or changing your behavior. Or you could have a few. For me, it is a GTD-style weekly review [PDF], a retrospective (gratitude, deltas and limiting beliefs), and a habit app (like Strides) and/or a To Do app with repeating to dos (like Todoist). And I have a morning routine that I can stack with new habits. For example, my foot was hurting and I wanted to strengthen it with daily exercise. I added to my repeating to do list and habit stacked with my morning routine. If you prefer paper, you can make a daily virtue checklist like Benjamin Franklin or adopt the popular Bullet Journal system.

  2. Secular Buddhism. While I’m not into the supernatural part of Buddhism, the wisdom it teaches is timeless. If you’re new to it or want a short refresher I recommend the 114-page book Secular Buddhism. And if you wonder how this could really be timeless, read Robert Wright’s Why Buddhism is True. And you can learn about the connection between evolution pressures and Buddhist insights about the human mind. Sam Harris’ app Waking Up contains much of the same concepts combined with practical tips on how to meditate.

  3. Secular Church. But secular Buddhism is focused on the individual, right? Does it miss important parts of life in coming together as a group, celebrating and participating in rituals? Where is the aspirational or the inspirational? Sunday Assembly hosts a secular version of church. Do you know of others?

  4. China Tech. I’m curious for your thoughts on Chinese government policy towards consumer tech. Is this right? Noah Smith says China wants to avoid de-industrializing and sees consumer tech as a distraction from real technology. “And so when China’s leaders look at what kind of technologies they want the country’s engineers and entrepreneurs to be spending their effort on, they probably don’t want them spending that effort on stuff that’s just for fun and convenience. They probably took a look at their consumer internet sector and decided that the link between that sector and geopolitical power had simply become too tenuous to keep throwing capital and high-skilled labor at it. And so, in classic CCP fashion, it was time to smash.” (The book I read on US vs. Chinese technological military capability from a Senate staffer seems to align here.)

  5. Charter Cities. Where is the open space to experiment with new cultural, legal and government forms? Do we have to leave the planet or can we carve out new charter cities? Not a new concept although with a new framework. Does organizing on the internet allow for charter cities to be built in a new way? Make sure to learn the lessons of history before you sign up to move to one of these. You don’t want to move to a fake city that is in fact only a jungle. I hear that Nkwashi is gaining momentum.  And you can take part in Prospera virtually. Do you know of any other credible efforts?

Until next week,

Miles