I believe we have limited freedom, about 30% free and the rest is not under our control. It is not our choice about: ~how wealthy our parents are so they can give us the best and ensure our future, ~how the genes we inherited affect our health and intelligence, ~catching diseases, ~getting into accidents, ~marrying the wrong person, ~the religion we were brought up with and so on. Here's what scares me. Besides not having the power to choose how our life is set up for us, some say we can't do anything using free will. Even our thoughts are not free. Some neuroscientists have said any decision you make is not truly free but actually determined by neural processes outside of your conscious control. It's like really being an android, not what we think of as human.
"Luckily, for those who find this state of affairs philosophically (or existentially) perplexing, things are starting to look up. Thanks to some new breakthrough studies, including one published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers in Germany, there’s now some evidence pointing in the other direction: The neuroscientists are backtracking on past bold claims and painting a rather more appealing account of human autonomy. We may have more control over certain processes than those initial experiments indicated."
“A person’s decisions are not at the mercy of unconscious and early brain waves,” the lead researcher, Dr. John-Dylan Haynes of Charité - Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, said in the study’s press release. “They are able to actively intervene in the decision-making process and interrupt a movement. Previously people have used the preparatory brain signals to argue against free will. Our study now shows that the freedom is much less limited than previously thought.”
By this article I can at least have most of my thoughts free. I can still hope that maybe my arbitrary estimate of 30% control of my free will is in my life circumstances, not in my personal thoughts. Still not much but better than nothing! Deep inside me I feel my free will. Maybe not in my circumstances or accidental events but I still feel it. Any thoughts you might like to share?
My wife Lynette did a great job planning out the backyard.
Here's the vegetable patch. It's small but just for fun. The blue buckets are planted with tomatoes, Beefsteak and Better Boy. I'm not sure what we will plant in the four pots, probably herbs and marigolds.
Here's where we planted sunflowers. Lynette helped me cut back on the pumpkin plants, which grew on their own from a Halloween pumpkin I threw in there last November.
We put a wire screen over the patch to prevent birds and squirrels from eating the sunflower seeds. These are the two pumpkin plants we kept.
Then I print a weekly schedule that I created from a spreadsheet. It has the usual things I do like exercise, take trash to the dump, check when bills are due, etc. I pencil in appointments and other one time events.
I know it's sort of obsessive/compulsive but at least I don't schedule the usual things I do; like when to shave, get dressed, have a snack or go to the bathroom. That would really be strange.
My main fear is that I'll lose control of my life if I don't somehow organize it. But the truth is how little control I actually have. I guess I control maybe 30% of my life. The rest is chance: accidents, inherited health problems, catching a diseases, etc. The list is long.
If trying programs for a lists of projects, a to-do list, a calendar and a schedule help reduce my fear of losing control, then I'll just have to do it.
For my routine I use:
Google Monthly Calendar with email reminders and I print a copy for my desk.
My printed schedule for the week which I made from a spreadsheet program.
Wunderlist for projects with sub-tasks I can transfer to my to-do list when ready.
Do it (Tomorrow) to-do list
Not 100% but good for me. Each person has to do what they find best.
I make sure to allow for unplanned spontaneous events by leaving plenty of slack time (about 50%) and flexibility. This allows for time to do nothing, take a nap, whatever I like at the moment.
Why do I want to make a to-do list? I want to make better use of my time without becoming overwhelmed. I can't do everything. It's not worth trying to do too much and I want some slack time to do nothing, just relax.
Now I'm not so busy that I need a complicated method. An easy method for the best use of my time is what I want.
I don't want to learn how to set up flags and colored stars to make priorities and whatever. It's Fun to make lists but I don't want to spend all my time and energy only making lists rather than actually taking action.
My mistake was in not paying attention to the difference between a to-do list and a project list.
A project could be something like "I want to keep the house in good condition", which I can name as something like House Maintenance.
But this doesn't explain how to do it.
If I list the things I need to do for this project, Wunderlist calls them subtasks; I can now transfer them to my to-do list when I'm ready as:
-Vacuum dryer exhaust duct.
-Buy wireless smoke detectors.
-Install wireless smoke detectors.
and so on.
This is very specific and doable step by step.
There are many ways to do this but if you confuse a project list with a to-do list, the way I did, not much will get done.
Here is how I do it now:
I use Wunderlist to list my projects and break them down into subtasks that need to be done to complete the project.
I then transfer a subtask (here it's Dryer exhaust duct) onto my to-do list called "Do It (Tomorrow)".
I use "Do it tomorrow" for my actual to-do list. It's very simple and I wind up doing much more than with complicated lists.
My daughter Laurissa asked for advice on planting tomatoes for her community garden so I did some research. My bother Tony has a balcony where this may also work.
I'm going to try it myself because it looks easier than digging up the ground and it
has a way to keep the soil moist for a while. You can also move the bucket around if
you have to.
The drawback is controlling the height of an indeterminate tomato plant which can spread over 6 feet. It makes more tomatoes spread out over a longer time than the bush determinant variety which make all their tomatoes during a shorter time period. But the bush type can stay under 4 feet.
I guess you can cut the indeterminate variety to keep it short but I'm not sure if it will hurt the plant.
I found a link to a site with directions for planting tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket.
Here's the link with 2 videos and a list of materials needed:
I'm going to indulge my fascination with wild plants/weeds again. I think this would make a nice houseplant.
I found it in this flower box left over from last year.
I'll let you know after I transplant it.
This past week I haven't posted much because I'm working on a project to make better use of my time. Time is so limited and valuable that it's a shame to waste it. I'll post my progress and ask for some of your ideas.
I've lived in this area for many years and this was the first time I attended the parade. It was a good time with the family.
Miles was with both sets of grandparents and some uncles and an aunt.
We had a quiet barbecue together. It was a great time.
Some short videos of the parade:
We bought Miles a t-ball baseball set which by coincidence our in-laws bought the same exact one. Now he'll leave one set here in Virginia and take the other set back to Brooklyn so he can play at both places.
Here he is with his Baltimore Orioles cap trying out one of the t-ball sets.