I'm a 32-year-old web developer and amateur philosophy student who believes that philosophy has practical applications in life and in business. I live in Berlin, Germany.
In every affair consider what precedes and follows, and then undertake it. Otherwise you will begin with spirit; but not having thought of the consequences, when some of them appear you will shamefully desist. You will behave like children who sometimes play like wrestlers, sometimes gladiators, sometimes blow a trumpet, and sometimes act a tragedy when they have seen and admired these shows. Thus you too will be at one time a wrestler, at another a gladiator, now a philosopher, then an orator; but with your whole soul, nothing at all.

A Pattern for focus

Over-stimulation and distraction are major challenges of our age. Forward-thinking people are developing patterns to their time and habits to help them focus. Here in Berlin, a start-up is offering an app to give you time off from your phone. Slava Rubin, the founder of Indiegogo, never sits at a computer all day, until the evening. He spends the core of his day standing and talking with people.

Here is my pattern. I do not always achieve it. But these are tools and habits I am trying to pull together for an effective day.

  • Stepping outside in the morning: 5-10 minutes of Yoga and meditation in the morning on my deck (gets the mind and body cleared and relaxed)
  • Limit caffeine intake to one coffee per day to avoid over-stimulus
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to take 25 minute bursts and 5 minute breaks
  • Use Self-Control and AppleScripts and iCalendar and automator to automatically trigger a 3.5 hour no-email, no-NYTimes period the first time I open my laptop - read more on my programming blog - http://henrys-devblog.herokuapp.com/posts/53
  • Leave my laptop at the office in the evening and on some weekends, so that I get away from its stimulus for a while
  • Take frequent walks - during my 5 minute Pomodoro breaks, or also simply in the afternoon
  • Take a midday break for exercise - a run, yoga, or lifting weights

These are a few simple techniques that I'm trying for. I may add to them, or edit them, in the future.

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Pascal's 4 Kinds of Persons

"Four kinds of persons: zeal without knowledge; knowledge without zeal; neither knowledge nor zeal; both zeal and knowledge."

– Pascal, Pensées

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Festina Lente

Festina lente

Festina Lente is a Roman adage and oxymoron. It means "make haste slowly", or, "be quick, but don't hurry."

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Aphorism Art

Montaigne on Habit

"For in truth habit is a violent and treacherous schoolmistress. She establishes in us, little by little, stealthily, the foothold of her authority; but having by this mild and humble beginning settled and planted it with the help of time, she soon uncovers to us a furious and tyrannical face against which we no longer have the liberty of even raising our eyes."


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A Short Definition of Stoicism

Stoic philosophy is a way of life. It is the discovery of curiosity and joy in all experience, including pain. If Stoicism had a first commandment, it might be: love reality.


A French philosopher once broke Stoicism into three disciplines. The Discipline of Assent asks us to interrogate the judgment narratives, called impressions, that secretly govern our thoughts, and therefore our actions. 

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