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  • David Loughry 5:16 pm on July 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, art collecting, beautiful places, beauty, , fine art, , , homes, , lifestyle, , , real estate, ,   

    Getting Tired of Beautiful and Special Things 

    This is a post I shared on my personal blog, but it’s perfect for here too. —David

    I don’t know about you, but I can get tired of even the most beautiful and special things. I think this is probably true for most people.

    I’ve lived in beautiful places like Boulder and Vail in Colorado, both of which I appreciated less over time. I’ve taken truly special photos, put them on my phone as the background, and gotten tired of them. I’ve made awesome art I loved and grew less fond of it, and seen amazing, historically important art in museums that started to bore me over time. I’ve listened to great music too much and cared for it less and less. You get the drift.

    This is why I think differently when I see houses by the beach, or in the mountains, or some other amazing place. I’ve realized, yes, it would be great to live there for a while, but I would not want to live there for the rest of my life, or even for too many months or years. So I would not want to pay the high premiums people pay for houses in those places! For the same reasons, I avoid collecting expensive art, as I would get tired of it so quickly.

    This line of thinking also probably implies I would get tired of being wealthy!

    The thoughts in this post are yet more arguments for variety. And when you think about variety for a while, you’ll probably realize what you want is sustainable variety. At least that’s what I realized. This means finding ways of living over weeks, and months, and years, that give you variety you don’t get tired of! I don’t want kinds of variety that are like beautiful and special things that I get tired of. I want varieties of variety, and I want that to be sustainable, so I stay engaged and have the potential to keep being engaged. I think probably one of the best ways to get sustainable variety is to also pursue sustainable proximities. I think the two go together. Although that’s another topic, for now, here’s more on what I call the sustainable proximities approach at http://proxthink.com/ways/sustainable-proximities.php.

    If some of this rings true, you might be a bit of a variety person. You might want to join us here on varietypeople.org.

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  • David Loughry 2:48 pm on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: debates, diet, diets, eating, food, , optimal, plants,   

    The Variety of Food Problem and Optimal Variety 

    One challenge to a variety point of view might be what you could call the food problem.

    If variety is what seems important, you might point out that diets we generally know to be unhealthy can include plenty of variety. So what’s the problem with those diets?

    Here’s where you get into debates about whether certain kinds of variety might be better than others. And I think the answer is probably yes, certain kinds of variety are probably better than others, for some or even many kinds of situations.

    For many kinds of situations, there may be sets of possibilities which still fall within a wider range which could be considered more optimal variety. And, in contrast, sets of possibilities which mostly fall outside that range of more optimal variety can probably still have plenty of variety, but they are less optimal.

    A good example is food. Diets largely consisting of a wide variety of plant-based foods are generally considered to be the most healthy. So you see here there is room for a lot of variety, within the range of plant-based foods. This also implies that too narrow a variety of plant-based foods could also be a problem. And it says that if your diet does not largely consist of, meaning if the diet is not dominated by, plant-based foods, then that is also probably a problem. So you could say that the optimal variety regarding food (assuming health is what you’re going for) is a diet largely consisting of a wide variety of plant-based foods. And so, less-optimal diets could still have plenty of variety, but that variety would not be more optimal variety.

    I guess we would have to admit here that, if death and disease are what you’re going for, there would be a different optimal variety of foods for that! And, admit that there are probably different opinions regarding which kinds of optimal variety in food are most healthful!

    The takeaway here, for variety people, would seem to be that we shouldn’t only go for variety, but consider what the optimal variety would or might be. This also relates to the idea from our About page that “we shouldn’t pursue variety just for variety’s sake.” It’s also probably worth mentioning that optimal variety may often overlap, or arise alongside, variety which is sustainable. Further, only allowing yourself to eat a diet of optimal variety, when other important considerations are factors, such as survival, might not be optimal in a larger sense, and also goes against an openness to having a variety of variety.

    Finally, broadly and generally, pursuing variety in the short and the long term, will probably lead you to seeking and finding sustainable variety, and so a variety perspective is a useful general strategy for many kinds of situations. This also relates to some new research on what intelligence is, but that’s a post for another day. Stay tuned! (Of course, these days we don’t really tune into things like radio and TV, so much as just turn them on!)

     
  • David Loughry 2:59 pm on March 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: celebrities, , rock, Yeah Yeah Yeahs   

    Looks like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are variety people … 

    If you read this article, you see they each have side projects, other musical interests and they do not devote full time to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And it sounds like their lives and their work are the better for it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/get-yer-yeah-yeah-yeahs-out.html

     
  • David Loughry 1:35 am on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calm, strategy   

    One way to be calm is to have adequate variety in your life.

     
  • David Loughry 12:11 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , productivity, relaxation,   

    Links between relaxation and productivity also speak to the value of variety 

    This article about how critical rest and relaxation are to productivity also, without saying it, has a lot to say about the value of variety! Enough rest and relaxation add variety to your life. I also think, in addition to rest and relaxation, variety itself can be rejuvenating, as well as lead to creative and innovative ideas since you have a wider range of experiences to draw upon.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/opinion/sunday/relax-youll-be-more-productive.html

     
  • David Loughry 1:49 pm on November 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , flexible work ideas, guts, , jobs with variety, money, quality of life, time management, work   

    Sometimes Variety Trumps Money 

    Probably sounds like heresy.

    Sometimes being a variety person takes guts.

    Because sometimes variety trumps money.

    There have been many times when I could have made more money, but chose not to so I could have time for the kinds of variety that make life worth living and make life interesting. Things like time to workout, or sleep enough, or see a friend, or cook a good meal, or learn something new, or create something, or explore, or spend time with family, or even something that makes some money but not as much as I could have made doing something else.

    When I’m making decisions like these, I’m often acutely aware that I’m choosing to make less money than I could. It’s hard too because I don’t have much money, and don’t have a lot of room for error in terms of my budget. But both my main jobs right now are pretty flexible, so I often could be earning money when I’m not. I have both these jobs because they are flexible, so they allow time for variety and for work on my own projects (like varietypeople!) which may (or may not!) earn money in the future.

    I listen to different parts of me, not just my wallet. Sometimes my body is saying, “We need a run!” And my body is so happy when we go for that run. Sometimes some part of me is saying “We need more socializing!” Or “More sleep!” Or “We need something different today, not just the same old things we’ve been doing lately!” You get the idea.

    If you can manage it, and perhaps tolerate it, I highly recommend work that is flexible. That way, you can listen when variety seems to be trumping money.

    Perhaps we should start posts here that list jobs we know of that are flexible, and allow for the kinds of decisions in favor of variety that I’ve mentioned. Here are my two main current jobs: One is a Field Rep for the US Census Bureau, where you get cases to work, but can mostly choose when you want to work on them. The other is being a background artist, also known as an extra, on TV shows and films, which I can choose to be available for day-by-day. I’m tagging this post with the tag “flexible work ideas” so if you have ideas for other kinds of flexible work that allows for variety, please tag your post similarly. You can also add your “flexible work ideas” in comments to this post.

    Come to think of it, both my jobs also have quite a bit of variety themselves. Interviewing people in Census surveys means I meet a very wide variety of people. And being an extra means I’m always going to different locations and studios, playing different roles, and dressing in different wardrobe for the parts. I guess I’ll also tag this post “jobs with variety” to capture that idea. Perhaps you know of some jobs like that too, and can post about them and tag them the same way. You can also add your “jobs with variety” ideas in comments to this post.

    Even having two different jobs can be awesome. If I only did one of my jobs, I couldn’t take it. But this way, I’m often like, “OMG, I’m so glad I’m doing this and not my other job today!” This change can be so refreshing.

     
  • David Loughry 3:30 pm on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apps, freeform, mobile, , music resources, radio, resources, wfmu   

    I love WFMU an online radio station which… 

    I love WFMU, an online radio station which also has apps for mobiles. It is freeform, and plays the most astonishingly wide variety of music! I especially like the “Do or DIY Stream.”

    More about WFMU at http://wfmu.org

     
  • David Loughry 6:07 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cohousing, cooking, Denmark, , , parenting,   

    Cohousing in Denmark 

    I watched a documentary recently called “Happy.” It included a really wonderful section about cohousing in Denmark.

    This cohousing seems to increase the variety in people’s lives. For example, they only have to cook dinner once or twice a month because everyone helps with the cooking. This frees up, one respondent said, about two hours every day for her.

    One of the kids there also mentioned that it’s great to have more adults around. For example, if they get hurt, it doesn’t matter which adult helps, and there are more adults likely to be able to help.

    They didn’t say this, but it’s likely the kids get a wider variety of parenting, growing up with a more diverse perspective. It’s also likely that if one parent can’t help them with something, another one probably can.

    The main mother they interviewed said she had lived in the cohousing for 6 years, and would happily live there 6 more.

     
  • David Loughry 2:55 am on January 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , machines, self-sabotage, Specialization, Success, victims   

    Don't Be a Machine Please 

    Just because machines are specialized, please don’t think you should be.

    You’re not a machine (most likely!). You are a complex human being, that thrives on many different things.

    The world is chock full of stories of people who specialize, become successful, and then become victims of their own specialization.

    Someone once said that poison is often a matter of how large the dose is. With many things, a little bit can be wonderful. But a large amount, or too much, can kill you, either slowly, or quickly.

     
  • David Loughry 3:31 am on November 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Complexity, ,   

    Embrace variety. Or not (wink, wink). 

    To be interesting, and engaging, and to feel alive, and to engage with the world, and to connect with people, you’ve got to be both different as well as accessible. You’ve got to be complex enough people can’t quite figure you out, yet they feel comfortable with you as well. How can you do all that? Embrace variety.

     
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