Insomnia, 5

mingyeow 47 minutes ago [-]

I had signs of insomnia in the last couple of years. Tried all the usual techniques, and I realized those just do not work for one simple reason – that the moment I do not fall asleep, I become frustrated. And that frustration in turn makes sleeping much harder.

So, I tried doing the exact opposite, and my sleep has been tremendously better since.

Essentially, I force myself to keep my eyes open. When I catch myself falling asleep, I actually force myself to keep them often again. Before I know it, it is morning.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but all my insomnia problems are over, including on a plane. Would love to know if it works for others, or if it is just a silly thing that works for only me.

— Insomnia: To Pursue Sleep So Hard You Become Invigorated by the Chase

— Hacker News



2018.11.20 Tuesday ACHK

A pretty girl, 2

Women are directly fitted for acting as the nurses and teachers of our early childhood by the fact that they are themselves childish, frivolous and short-sighted; in a word, they are big children all their life long–a kind of intermediate stage between the child and the full-grown man, who is man in the strict sense of the word. See how a girl will fondle a child for days together, dance with it and sing to it; and then think what a man, with the best will in the world, could do if he were put in her place.

— Of Women

— Arthur Schopenhauer


When the elderly Schopenhauer sat for a sculpture portrait by the Prussian sculptor Elisabet Ney in 1859, he was much impressed by the young woman’s wit and independence, as well as by her skill as a visual artist. After his time with Ney, he told Richard Wagner’s friend Malwida von Meysenbug, “I have not yet spoken my last word about women. I believe that if a woman succeeds in withdrawing from the mass, or rather raising herself above the mass, she grows ceaselessly and more than a man.

— Wikipedia on Arthur Schopenhauer


Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist — a master — and that is what Auguste Rodin was — can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is… and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…. and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…. no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired — but it does to them. Look at her! (UC)

— Robert A. Heinlein



2018.10.27 Saturday ACHK


如夢初醒 4.2 | 讀書與睡眠 4.2


DrPhish 5 months ago [-]

This is exactly the Zen moment that fixed my lifelong insomnia: lying in bed relaxed with my eyes closed, even if I’m not asleep, leaves me feeling worlds better in the morning than fretting about not being able to sleep. It’s something that happened when I forgot about it completely. Once I realized I could literally just lie in bed for 8 hours and be OK, I was able to let go.

It’s like a trap that closes tighter about you the more you struggle, and releases if you allow yourself to relax[.]

Once I really got that, sleep became regular and uninterrupted[.]

laumars 5 months ago [-]

I discovered this recently too. Even in the instances when I still don’t get to sleep (eg my 1 year old coming into bed and wriggling in her sleep waking me) I’ve still felt more refreshed when I’ve relaxed rather than laid in bed wound up. I’m not into new age / whatever stuff but I like to think of it as night time meditation as while it’s still not as good as sleep it’s still a great deal better than full blown insomnia! And best of all, sometimes it clears your mind enough to actually sleep.


— Thinking of yourself as an insomniac may be a part of the problem

— Hacker News



2018.10.11 Thursday ACHK

Illusions destroyed, 2

Ask HN: Why is nearing completion so demotivating?

534 points by danschumann 3 months ago

So I’ve been working on animation software for over two years. Part of me is very excited for launch so I can have money again (I’ve been freelancing a minimum amount these last two years, and went car-less, moved, cut lifestyle into a third). I should be wholeheartedly excited, but I’m feeling tired and generally sluggish regarding the project. I still make consistent progress, but it takes a lot of will power.

Part of me thinks it might be an aversion to sales. Part of me thinks this could have been built up so much in my head that anything short of overnight millions would be a disappointment (though I would be happy with 1500 bucks a month), part of me thinks I might be scared of success (or scared of surpassing my parents) (media attention), part of me fears the attacks that might come with success (having something to lose), part of it is the un-fun-ness of mature projects where the focus is on polish and bugs rather than broad new features, and part of me is scared of commitment: if I succeed I have to stick with this (freedom value), part of me wonders what will happen when more people become involved, if I will be able to maintain my creative direction, since I’m scratching my own itch. Part of me wonders if diet and exercise isn’t a factor.

A combination, likely…


mikekchar 3 months ago [-]

When your project is finished, the dream is dead and the reality is born. The death of a dream is like the death of a friend. It’s probably been with you for a long time — longer even than the length of the project. A dream is the manifestation of what’s possible. When it is over, the possible diminishes very quickly and you are left with what actually is. Will people respond well to your project — in the dream stage it is possible; everything is possible. In the reality stage, it will only be what it is.

So while it’s common to think of a release as a birth of something new, realise that you also have a significant loss. You will mourn that loss. Give yourself some emotional space to deal with the mourning.


riantogo 3 months ago [-]

This is exactly it. Tens of my personal projects have died in this stage. It was always much easier to move on to the next dream. There is always the next big problem that could use a solution. Why not build when it is what we do best? Rinse, repeat.

I took a break from side projects for several years but recently got back to it and couple weeks back finished building. It is the same story all over again. Same feeling. I’m dreading what comes next.


— Why is nearing completion so demotivating?

— Hacker News



2018.09.01 Saturday ACHK

Mirror selves, 5.2

Anatta 3.3 | 無我 3.3


You fight for existence, for being alive.

However, your existence is not “yours”.

The existence of you, is not your property.

The existence of you, is a property of the group you are in.

The existence of you, is a property of other people.


To meaningfully say the statement “I exist”, you have to specify you exist with respect to whom.

To exist, you have to specify to exist in which people’s world.

— Me@2018-05-22 7:43 AM



2018.07.02 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK


trowawee 4 months ago

I’m a little frustrated at the tossed-off reference to Plato and Aristotle at the beginning – “The good life may have sufficed for Plato and Aristotle, but it is no longer enough.” – because I feel like that ignores the fact that both Plato and Aristotle, along with a lot of philosophers, actually had a lot to say about physical fitness. Plato was a champion wrestler, and both he and Aristotle viewed physical education as a fundamental component to living the good life. Xenophon quotes Socrates saying this:

“For in everything that men do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical efficiency as possible. Why, even in the process of thinking, in which the use of the body seems to be reduced to a minimum, it is matter of common knowledge that grave mistakes may often be traced to bad health.”

The whole article feels a little too mired in presentism, and ignorant of the history of self-improvement ideas.


coldtea 4 months ago

>Plato was a champion wrestler

And the name Plato is a nickname — meaning “the broad/wide one” given to him for his broad shoulders because of that training and physical appearance. Real name: Aristocles.


kernelbandwidth 4 months ago

It’s funny to consider that one of the canonically great philosophers in history is known essentially by the equivalent of his WWE wrestling name. It’s like if in the future there were classes taught on the philosophical ideas of “The Rock”.


coldtea 4 months ago

Some other amusing related stuff: so, Plato, was called for for the ancient greek word for broad/wide.

Modern [English] words that stem from the same root: plateau, platitude, plat, plate — via French and Latin (plattus) from Greek (platis “flat, wide, broad”).


danohu 4 months ago

Well, the first Pope was literally called The Rock (Peter). Jesus appointed him by saying “you are The Rock, and I’ll build my church on this rock”.

Exactly what he meant has led to centuries of debate between protestants and catholics.


acangiano 4 months ago

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

― Socrates


— Improving Ourselves to Death

— Hacker News



2018.06.01 Friday ACHK

Life, 3

生命 3


We exist in time because time is change.

Growing is part of the definition of life. Growing is a kind of change.


Also, without time/change, there would be no thinking and no thoughts.

— Me@2017-12-26 11:42 am

— Me@2018-05-23 10:05:03 PM


time ~ change


Time is logically necessary if change is necessary.

— Me@2018-02-04 09:07:48 PM



2018.05.23 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Sleep apnea

erentz 3 months ago

Slightly tangential to the study here but I’ve been going down the sleep apnea rabbit hole in recent months and I strongly encourage folks to investigate their sleep. A lot of people have sleep apnea and don’t realize it. You don’t have to snore to have it. A surprising statistic I found was 20-30% of people with ADHD have sleep apnea. A lot of people may be treating symptoms of sleep apnea like ADHD and high blood pressure with medications while ignoring the root cause. My experience with this has been that doctors are surprisingly ignorant. They’ll happy prescribe you medications for anxiety, ADHD, blood pressure for years, and never think to ask you about your sleep. Do some of your own investigations or ask about it if you have any suspicions.


copperx 3 months ago

I’m going to add myself as a data point. After suffering years of feeling sleepy regardless of how much I slept and frequently unmotivated and withdrawn, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. A few years ago I was given Dexedrine, Ritalin, Adderall, and I even tried self-medicating with modafinil to ameliorate the symptoms of what doctors thought was ADHD with varying levels of success; but the drug-free treatment of sleep apnea with a BiPAP machine got rid of all of these issues; in addition, I feel about ten years younger.

— Sleep and Mortality: A Population-Based 22-Year Follow-Up Study (2007)

— Hacker News



2018.05.09 Wednesday ACHK

技術細節 3

親歷其境 3

這段改編自 2010 年 4 月 18 日的對話。



— 尼采













1. 應用


2. 傳播




3. 研究


— Me@2018-05-05 10:06:15 AM


Know the subject—At the Dale Carnegie public speaking class, which I highly recommend—they say anyone can make a good speech if he or she has _earned the right_ to speak on the subject in question. How do you earn the right? By living through the subject or by doing extensive research on it—which is arguably another form of living through it. Same principle applies to how-to writing. You cannot do high school student research. That is, find 21 facts and write an essay that consists solely of those 21 facts. Rather you need the proverbial iceberg of unused facts under the “tip” that is your book. The good news is virtually everyone has lived through something that fits that criterion. And, with a year or so, we can all research something that interest us to the point where we can write about it. The key to bad writing is assigned topics—the standard of high school and college teachers.

— John T. Reed



2018.05.06 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The Sixth Sense, 3

Mirror selves, 2 | Anatta 3.2 | 無我 3.2


You cannot feel your own existence or non-existence. You can feel the existence or non-existence of (such as) your hair, your hands, etc.

But you cannot feel the existence or non-existence of _you_.

— Me@2018-03-17 5:12 PM


Only OTHER people or beings can feel your existence or non-existence.

— Me@2018-04-30 11:29:08 AM



2018.04.30 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Almost nothing new

The most valuable insights are both general and surprising. F = ma for example. But general and surprising is a hard combination to achieve. That territory tends to be picked clean, precisely because those insights are so valuable.

Because these start out so general, you only need a small delta of novelty to produce a useful insight.

A small delta of novelty is all you’ll be able to get most of the time. Which means if you take this route your ideas will seem a lot like ones that already exist. Sometimes you’ll find you’ve merely rediscovered an idea that did already exist. But don’t be discouraged. Remember the huge multiplier that kicks in when you do manage to think of something even a little new.

It’s not true that there’s nothing new under the sun. There are some domains where there’s almost nothing new. But there’s a big difference between nothing and almost nothing, when it’s multiplied by the area under the sun.

— General and Surprising

— Paul Graham



2018.04.22 Sunday ACHK

Eyes on me

dziungles 14 days ago

Hey, this is really cool to see natural eyesight topic on the hacker news.
I practice this for more than 10 years. Each day I work with computer for ~10 h., drive a car and do other things, and never wear glasses, even though the traditional ophtalmologic measures clearly indicate that I need strong glasses and I shouldn’t see even the biggest letter on the Snellen chart, but I see not only the biggest, but sometimes even the 20/20.

Doctors can’t explain this, and only congrats me on my achievement. Of course, the eyesight is not perfect. I see clearly in the daytime, but in the nighttime or low light conditions it becomes much harder to distinguish faces.

The best book I found so far is “Relearning to See” by Thomas R. Quackenbush. The originator of this theory was William Bates.

Actually, there is no clear unified theory on how to achieve this. Everyone interprets it differently and the results are inconsistent. There is also a lot of criticism from the medical establishment.

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.


bsder 14 days ago

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.

It SORT OF works in stable and predictable situations.

What seems to be happening is that your brain, in all of its neuroplastic glory, is learning to make better inferences from the broken information it receives.

The issue is that this works as long as the inferences are correct. That’s fine when you are reading a newspaper, using the computer, etc. as the situation is stable and predictable.

The problem is that when you are suddenly confronted by a situation where the inferences are NOT correct–such as a nighttime emergency situation while driving. Now you are relying on the “uninferenced” data coming in from your eyes and that data is subpar with all the resultant problems.

The best solution is both: fix the data coming in with corrective lenses for unpredictable situations, and train your brain to make better inferences so you can deal with predictable situations better.


dziungles 14 days ago

Before, I also had this theory in my mind for a year or so.
But for example, right now I’m in Thailand, traveling here for the first time. Everything is new, unfamiliar and unpredictable, daytime, nightime. I have no problems seeing things, everything is almost perfectly clear and sharp. I needed some time to adapt to a smaller screen of my laptop (I was using 24 inch before), but now I’m doing fine.

Actually, the more you look, the better you see. Like in Aaron Swartz blog post, if you want to retrain your weak legs, you need to walk more. Same with eyes.



2018.02.09 Friday ACHK

Zooming out

In this morning’s dream, I had seen an ultra zooming out of the universe, where in the end the universe became a particle of a super-universe.

Perhaps the afterlife (or near-death experience) is like this kind of bizarre feeling.

— Me@2011.08.17 

It is a fractal.

— Me@2011.08.22

Note: This kind of feeling is unhealthy, since it is induced by eating too little food.

— Me@2017.01.09

Several months ago, I had another this kind of super-feeling dream, in which I could get a time traveling feeling.

— Me@2011.08.17 

2017.01.14 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Euler Formula

Exponential, 2


general exponential increase ~ the effects are cumulative

natural exponential increase ~ every step has immediate and cumulative effects

— Me@2014-10-29 04:44:51 PM

exponent growth

e^x = \lim_{n \to \infty} \left(1 + \frac{x}{n}\right)^n

~ compound interest effects with infinitesimal time intervals

multiply -1

~ rotate to the opposite direction

(rotate the position vector of a number on the real number line to the opposite direction)

~ rotate 180 degrees

multiply i

~ rotate to the perpendicular direction

~ rotate 90 degrees

For example, the complex number (3, 0) times i equals (0, 3):

3 \times i = 3 i
(3, 0) (0, 1) = (0, 3)

multiplying i

~ change the direction to the one perpendicular to the current moving direction

(current moving direction ~ the direction of a number’s position vector)

exponential growth with an imaginary amount

e^{i \theta} = \lim_{n \to \infty} \left( 1 + \frac{i \theta}{n} \right)^n

~ change the direction to the one perpendicular to the current moving direction continuously

~ rotate \theta radians

— Me@2016-06-05 04:04:13 PM
2016.06.08 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK


Publish! 7.2

We like to share because we like our information, ideas, and insights to have a future.

— Me@2011.08.07

2015.07.19 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Passion Test

The Top Idea in Your Mind, 6 | 事業愛情觀 6


To check whether a project is your true love, ask yourself:

Am I willing to spend INFINITE time on it?

— Me@2015-07-05 04:26:24 PM


Do you want it to be one of your lifelong projects?

Are you willing to follow it up for your whole life?

— Me@2015-07-12 11:00:11 AM



2015.07.12 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK