YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=HN6zXbsDU-8
Previous: Doing Somethings
Next: untitled

Categories

Statistics

View count:3,024
Likes:441
Dislikes:1
Comments:89
Duration:03:59
Uploaded:2019-04-19
Last sync:2019-04-19 12:30
I hope some of this makes some kind of sense. I think the intentionality that John was discussing last video is wonderful, but I just don't know how possible it is for me. I just don't like making decisions!! I'm a habit guy, I have put the seat down after peeing every time since my mom bugged me about it when I was 13. I turn on my turn signal in the parking garage when there's only one direction to turn. I don't trust my conscious mind...so when I can use it, I feel like the best thing to use it for is to establish good habits, because if it's a choice, I'll find a reason to do nothing.

----
Subscribe to our newsletter! http://nerdfighteria.com/newsletter/
And join the community at http://nerdfighteria.com http://effyeahnerdfighters.com
Help transcribe videos - http://nerdfighteria.info
John's twitter - http://twitter.com/johngreen
Hank's twitter - http://twitter.com/hankgreen
Hank's tumblr - http://edwardspoonhands.tumblr.com
Listen to The Anthropocene Reviewed at http://www.theanthropocenereviewed.org
Listen to Dear Hank and John at http://www.dearhankandjohn.org
Good Morning John,

Two days ago, I was holding my beautiful son in my arms like this, and he looked me directly in the eyes and we were having a very good father-son bonding moment, as he sneezed into my mouth.
Long story short, I have a cold.

So my brain's got tiny chickens in it and I'm not thinking super clearly, but I did watch your video and it did make me think a bunch of things and I wanna work through them.
So let's do a back and forth like we're having a real-life conversion, except that I know what you're gonna say and you have no idea what I'm gonna say, good?

[John] I kept thinking of that E. E. Cummings poem that begins, "Spring is like a perhaps hand that comes carefully out of nowhere."

[Hank] I like that here you assume that I know an E. E. Cummings poem. It's adorable!
And I had to listen to this line like, 7 times before I could start to get my mind around what it means. Which sometimes I feel like is the point of poetry.
It's like one of those boxes that you have to do a secret to figure out how to open it, except it's made of words. Sounds like I'm whining, but I like those boxes!
Anyway, none of this is my point, back to your video

[John] For me, nothing means not making an active choice to do something

[Hank] This is a really great insight, but for me at least, it doesn't quite get to the whole thing. 
I agree that part of whatever "doing nothing" is, whatever that is, is that it's a passive choice. But I don't think that's the whole thing.

[John] Doing something feels like making a choice, and doing nothing feels like not making one.

[Hank] I think I'm figuring this out, through the haze of a rhinovirus here. For me, scrolling through Twitter is nothing, because it's the default that I end up with when there's no structure left.
When all of the things run out, it's what I "blelb" to. Just like "fink, fink fink, fink..."
But for me, taking my medicine IS the default choice. There are lots of things that we don't really choose to do that are not nothing, like work being a pretty big one. That's how I do like 95 percent of the things that I do; I make the non-choice a something. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Ok, I'm just working this out right now as I'm recording. Here's how I'm trying to understand it. You have active and passive, and you have nothing and something. You have active nothings where you choose to do nothing and that's good. You have passive nothings, which is like the worse thing where you end up choosing to do nothing just 'cause there's nothing else to do and that doesn't feel good. There's active somethings, which is hard to do. And then there's the best thing, and I swear I didn't mean for this to happen, there's passive somethings. I'm sorry!

I feel way better for me to use the limited mental energy that I do have to create more passive somethings. Like, I'm just going to be annoyed if everything is an active choice. I don't have it in me.

This is like most of the appeal of a meal kit delivery service for me, like I have to do it or it's going to go bad. But I wouldn't make the active choice to do it, because it's just too hard, and then it's already 6:30 and you're Uber Eats-ing Krispy Kreme.

[John] I'm not choosing between doing something or doing nothing. I'm choosing which something to do.

[Hank] This is absolutely true, but I can't imagine the world this way. It sounds exhausting. So, with the choice-making energy that I have, I feel like it's better to set up, like do everything that I can to set up these passive somethings.

I want to make some active choices, absolutely, but I want to also be realistic about the fact that I just don't have that many in me in a given day. Like, as an example, what if every Tuesday is call your mom day or draw something day or do a podcast with your friend day? What I need most days is to have my non-choice be not nothing.

How do you do this? How do you set up passive somethings? I don't know. I've had a lot of practice, and I'm still not great at it. Like, you don't want to see my YouTube history, I watch a lot of lock-picking lawyer videos for some reason. I mean this guy carved a pencil from a pencil from a pencil, so... I did not actively choose to watch that video. As great as it is, it's a passive nothing, let's be honest with ourselves.

[John] Hank, thank you for doing this something with me for the last 12 years. I will see you on Friday.

[Hank] John, you're welcome, ya dork. I'll see you Tuesday. (laughing)