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How (and Why) to Make and Use Entropy Bombs

This entry is part 8 of 17 in the series The Art of War of Learning
This entry is part 27 of 26 in the series Timeboxing Trilogy

What is an entropy bomb? It’s basically this, recast, reimagined and placed on a rigorous course steroids 😉 : [Three Minutes Of… | AJATT | All Japanese All The Time]

No plan. No thought. Just set the (timebox countdown) timer and fight back entropy, more or less violently and indiscriminately, for three minutes.

While I did just say “indiscriminately”, I do tend to focus the bomb in space — narrow down the “blast radius”, so to speak — because focus is power, but the point is to think less and do more, because that is how productivity, happiness and success happen.

The trick with entropy bombs (which, strictly speaking, should perhaps be called “anti-entropy” bombs), is to not be the Soviet Union, which is to say, don’t try to make one big entropy bomb (one big timebox): instead, hit your targets with multiple, smaller bombs — hence the 3-minute temporal yield limit. Entropy bombs are, fundamentally, a tactical weapon, not some deterrent for decoration or strategic posturing. They’re for raiding and skirmishing, not laying waste to cities. Put another way, they are a theater weapon, not a theatrical weapon.

So, that’s more or less the “how” of it. But what about the “why”?

Why do we, humans, do the things we do? Why do we seek the experiences we seek? Why do we (or many of us, at least) pursue sex, pursue orgasms, join cults, consume mind-altering substances, go drinking, go to nightclubs and discotheques, go to music festivals?

There are many levels at which you could answer that. There’s the Bob Sapolsky dopamine level, which is super awesome but not the one we want right now. Instead, I’ma go for the Thích Nhất Hạnh-level answer: we do the things we do because we want to experience, well, moksha. We want to be free of fear, worry and even thought itself. Perhaps even life itself — that’s the attraction of suicide: the freedom. Perceptive as always, the French call orgasms “la little death” — the petite mort, if you will.

But seeking that kind of freedom, that kind of release, can be both dangerous and counter-productive; I certainly wouldn’t want to live in the kind of society where we’re all dissipated druggies or spaced-out saddhus or both. We are all better off because Steve Jobs became an entrepreneur instead of a monk; hippies promise heaven but always produce chaotic hellholes; I want water that runs and trains that come on time. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to choose between happiness and success: entropy bombs in particular, and timeboxing and force concentration in general, are a powerful and productive way to both channel and realize that healthy and legitimate desire for flow, for peak experience, for moksha, for freedom, for release.

Don’t be an irresponsible hedonist. Don’t be a dutiful masochist. Be an entropy bomber 🙂 .

Series Navigation<< The Myth of Invincible (Asian) LanguagesEntropy: Fight the Power >>
Series Navigation<< The One True Secret to Being Happy, Productive and Sane Forever

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