Going to the dentist: An everyday example of Systems vs. Goals

I was at the dentist this morning, for my regular check-up. I passed with flying colors. According to the dentist, I’m really good at keeping my teeth clean. I have no holes. My gums are nice and pink, apparently, with no inflamation or pockets. So, am I telling you this just to brag? No, of course not.

I’m writing about it because I realized it’s a practical everyday example of what Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) says about using systems instead of goals and replacing willpower with knowledge.

I have good dental hygiene and I don’t have to use up any of my valuable willpower to keep it up. It’s not a chore, it’s just something I do. Apparently, you have a limited amount of willpower each day, it is a finite resource. But knowledge is infinite!

I paid 480SEK for the examination this morning and will be called back for my next check-up in 18 months. The man standing next to me was paying 3080SEK for his visit. That’s pretty much all I need to know for me to keep flossing and being thorough when brushing my teeth! Plus, I also know that waking up with what feels like hairy teeth sucks ass…

A goal is a guarantee of nothing. A goal is meaningless compared to a system that takes you in the right direction. Having a system will not guarantee success, either, but if it’s a good system it will increase the odds in your favour.

It’s not my goal to have healthy teeth. I just implement a system of having good dental hygiene, and that increases my odds of having healthy teeth. And all I do is floss now and again, and spend a few extra minutes brushing my teeth thoroughly every night before going to bed, no matter how tired I am.

Put pressure on the Olympic Sponsors!

I’m writing today because I’m pissed off. I’m disappointed. I’m outraged!

Quote from AllOut.org:

Outrageous. The Olympic Committee just said they don’t think Russia is violating the Olympic Charter – even though Russians are facing anti-gay arrests, violent attacks, and exclusion.

Olympic host nations are supposed to obey seven principles and Principle 6 says discrimination of any kind is not allowed. But, the Olympic Committee is now acting like lesbian, gay, bi and trans people just don’t count.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made their stance on this crystal clear: They see no real problem with what’s going on in Russia. It’s an “internal affair” and the IOC will not call it what it is: state sanctioned discrimination, persecution and violence directed at the LGBT community.

If, like me, you are outraged by this cowardice on the part of the IOC, there are things you can do. You can send a message to Olympics President, Thomas Bach. You can sign petitions at Change.org. And all of this does actually matter!

Personally, though, I believe that we need to hurt the bottom line of the main Olympic sponsors. Therefore, I propose a boycott. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! If enough of us just buy one less meal at McDonald’s, or choose a drink other than those manufactured and sold by the Coca Cola Company, this week, they will feel it!

Olympic Sponsors

Some of the Olympic sponsors…

I’m not asking anyone to go hungry or thirsty if there are no other alternatives. I’m just asking you to consider the alternatives when available. I eat a lot of fast food and drink a lot of carbonated soft drinks, and I confess it would probably be close to impossible for me to change this quick enough to make a difference. But going without McD’s and Coke? Easy! In most cases, there are plenty of alternatives.

You don’t have to abstain 100%. Just choose alternatives when you can. And if you really want to make a change, tell the companies that you are boycotting them, and why! If enough of us put pressure on them by doing this, I believe they will put the necessary pressure on the IOC in their turn.

I’m tired of whining. I need to start doing something. And this? This is easy! But it still has the potential to actually affect a change and it’s worth doing!

Join the boycott on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/529227667155460/). Spread the word. Drink something else this week, buy a computer from a different manufacturer, do something.

Please, we need to do something….

Remember to aim high!

Last week I went swimming for the first time in over a year. I thought I should take it easy, since it had been a while. I wanted to manage 500m, though, and I did. I felt pretty good about that. Until I realized that I was just taking it easy. I thought I could probably do a little bit better, if I pushed myself just a bit. Maybe I could have managed 750m if I had just kept on swimming, instead of settling for “hitting my target.”

If you aim low, you’ll never push yourself, so tonight I told myself that I would swim 1250m. I didn’t. But I managed 1050m, which is more than double what I did last time.

Remember to aim high. Even if you don’t hit your target, you may still do better than you expected.

Warning! Small balls!

(I realize this is probably old news by now, but I just noticed it so I’ll post the picture I took anyway.)

I would think that the smaller the balls are, the smaller the risk of choking. It’s when you get the big balls in your mouth that you’re in trouble…


Really, Lego?

Julklappar till alla! / Christmas Gifts for everyone!

(Please scroll down to read this post in English.)

I år har jag beslutat att inte köpa så många julklappar. Men även om de inte blir många till antalet, så hoppas jag att många kommer att få glädje av dem! Jag har idag gjort donationer till följande organisationer och artister:

Läkare Utan Gränser

En organisation som gör insatser och räddar liv där det behövs utan att ta politisk hänsyn.

Missing People Sweden

En ideell organisation som hjälper personer att finna anhöriga som försvunnit. Till minne av Emil K.


Cancer är skit. Punkt.


En av mina favoritmusiker just nu. LukHash gör fantastisk elektronisk musik med hjälp av gamla spelkonsoler och datorer, såväl som elgitarrer och pianon. All musik från LukHash kan laddas hem gratis! Det senaste albumet, Falling Apart, släpptes 29 september i år.


Tryads musik är inte bara gratis, den är fri. Det betyder att du kan använda den i egna projekt, både personliga och kommersiella, utan att fråga om lov eller betala licensavgifter. Hurra för fri kultur!

Nina Paley

Nina är en förkämpe för fri kultur och alla hennes senaste verk är tillgängliga gratis för dig att avnjuta och remixa. Hennes seriestripp Mimi and Eunice kan läsas online och du kan ladda hem hennes film Sita Sings the Blues utan kostnad. Åter igen, hurra för fri kultur!

Linux Mint

Mint är ett fantastiskt trevligt alternativ till Windows. Det är gratis, fritt och användarvänligt. Det är sant att det kan vara bökigt att installera, men det kan du få hjälp med och när det är gjort så är det lätt att använda. Hurra för fri mjukvara!

God Jul!


I have decided to buy only a few christmas gifts this year. But even though the number of presents is low, I’m hoping they will bring joy to a lot of people. Today, I have made donations to the following organizations and artists:

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres

An organization that saves lives wherever it’s needed, without politics getting in the way.

Missing People Sweden

A non-profit organization that helps people find relatives that have gone missing. In memory of Emil K.

Barncancerfonden / Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation

Cancer sucks ass. Period.


One of my favorite musicians right now. LukHash creates awesome electronic music using old games consoles and computers, as well as electric guitars and pianos. All his music can be downloaded for free! His latest album, Falling Apart, was released on 29 September this year.


Tryad’s music is not only free of charge, it is free-as-in-freedom. That means you are allowed to use it in your own projects, both personal and commercial, without asking permission or paying license fees. Hooray for free culture!

Nina Paley

Nina is a champion of free culture, and all her latest works are available for you to enjoy and remix, free of charge and free-as-in-freedom. Her comic strip Mimi and Eunice can be read on-line, and you can download her film Sita Sings the Blues. Again, hooray for free culture!

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Windows. It’s free of charge, free-as-in-freedom, and it’s user friendly. True, you can run into problems while installing it, but there are people who can help you, and when it’s done, Mint is easy to use. Hooray for free software!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Apocalypse Day!

So, it’s the twenty-first day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the new millennium, and the World has not even begun to end yet……what do you do?

You check out some of my favourite Apocalypse themed videos, of course!

First up is the awesome My Little Pony spoof from Robot Chicken:

Second, here are some handy tips from Mario and Fafa of Glove and Boots:

Third, how about a Robopocalypse?

Happy Apocalypse Day, everybody, until the next time… :)

Why you should learn Python

Logo: PythonNo, I’m not talking about Parseltongue, but a programming language. I’ve been programming in other languages for years and years, but now I’m learning Python and here’s why I think you should join me.

If you’ve never tried programming a computer, you really should try it!

Learning computer programming is fun! It’s empowering and immensely satisfying. Sometimes it can even be useful! :) By learning a programming language, or at least trying it, you get a wider understanding about the inner workings of computer programs. This can increase your confidence in using computers, as it removes much of the mystery surrounding these, sometimes seemingly infernal, machines.

Python is a great language for learning to program. It’s free, there are tons of great resources on-line, and it’s easy to learn and use.

Why is it fun? It’s fun to be able to order computers around. You spend so much time wrestling with them, trying to get them to behave, getting the chance to be in total control is very satisfying. Basically, when you tell your computer to jump, instead of sulking in the corner, it will ask “How high?”

How is it useful? Learning a programming language can actually be helpful if you work with computers, even if you’re not going to work as a programmer. Let’s say your boss hands you a log file with thousands of lines of text and tells you to find all email addresses and list them alphabetically. Doing this manually would probably make anyone contemplate suicide. But if you know Python, you could easily write a small program that does this for you. It would only take you a few minutes to write the program, and it would only take the program a second to complete the task. Yes, really! Or let’s say you’re working with a spreadsheet, probably in Excel but maybe in OpenOffice, and you need to add some formulas to do a bunch of advanced calculations. Guess what… That’s a form of programming, and if you know a programming language, understanding what you need to do and how you need to do it will be much easier.

Ok, so how do I learn Python? As I said, there are loads of resources on-line. I’ve just discovered a new one, a website called Udacity. They do free university classes for everyone, led by people who really know their stuff. Their first class is called CS101: Building a Search Engine. By taking this seven-week class, you will not threaten Google’s market share, but you will actually learn some of the basic mechanics that make Google tick. Most of all, though, you will learn to program using Python. The goal of the class is not really to teach you how to build search engines, but to teach you how to use Python, while building a simple search engine in the process. Speaking of Google, though, it’s worth mentioning that lots of the professors actually work at Google. So, yeah, like I said…they know their stuff. :) CS101 is now in its final week and will start again on April 16. I’ll be taking the class, in parallel with a couple of other classes, CS212 and CS253, because even though I’ve been programming for years, I’m completely new to Python.

So why am I writing this blog post? Do I get a percentage from somewhere, or something? Ha ha, no. I honestly just want to share the love. I want more people to learn how to program, because I enjoy it so much and I think you might enjoy it, too. By writing this blog post, I hope to inspire someone to take the class CS101 with me, beginning April 16, because learning together is more fun than learning alone.

If you’re curious, know this:

  • It is absolutely free to enroll in these classes. You will not be asked for a credit card number. :)
  • There’s a great forum at Udacity, where nice people will help you whenever you need it.
  • I will help you all the way, no matter who you are, if I can. If you have problems installing Python on your computer, or if there is a lesson you just can’t wrap your head around, I will do whatever I can to help you.
  • You can quit whenever you want, even though I hope you won’t.
  • It will be fun!

So, come on! Learn Python with me!

Weird cravings

For about a week now, I’ve been having serious cravings to play the original Tomb Raider and I can’t explain it. Perhaps it’s because I really have a hundred other, important, things to do, or maybe it’s because it’s one of the best damn games I’ve ever played in my life.

I’ve played through it three times in the past, and I’m afraid that when the weekend comes, I’ll be going for number four.

Anyone else itching to play some retro games? And don’t give me any shit about Tomb Raider not being old enough to be retro. It was published in 19-fucking-96. That’s half my life ago.

This game has great atmosphere, feeling and playability. And the music. Damn this game has some great fucking music.

I need to play it again, soon. But right now, I guess I have more important things to do…

Shooting guns is fun!

TargetToday, a couple of friends and I went to the shooting range. We arrived late, but were allowed to join in anyway, which was very nice. We each got to borrow a .22 calibre gun and shot 50 shots, in 10 series of five. J and I both had semi-automatics and C used a revolver.

Personally, I’ve mostly shot air guns in the past. The only “real” firearm I’ve tried before today was a .22 rifle at that same place when I was about 15.

I was surprised at how affordable a hobby this really is. I was expecting it to be quite expensive. I guess it is, if you’re shooting larger calibres and have your own guns. But if you stick to borrowing a .22 on site, it’ll only cost you 30 SEK, plus 35 SEK for 50 rounds. The member’s fee is only about 650 SEK a year, so as long as you can get to the actual place, it’s really a sport anyone can afford.

Shooting the .38 Special

The people at the gun club were all really nice and made us all feel welcome. One guy in particular was super cool, because he let us try five shots each with his .38 Special after we had finished our own series. That was pretty fucking awesome…. :)

Much fun was had by all, nobody was injured, and we’re going back next sunday!


Today on the Internet

Actually, it’s more like “Yesterday on the Internet” because I was planning on writing this post yesterday. But didn’t. Anyway….. I wanted to share some links with all of you guys.

Dusty Smith

Dusty Smith of the "Cult of Dusty"

First up is this very emotional video by Dusty Smith, Atheism and Suicide, where he talks about a very recent tragedy. He reminds us all that life is amazing and worth living. We are all important to someone. And we shouldn’t wait too long to tell the people in our lives how important they are to us. All of a sudden it might be too late. Don’t wait until someone is dead to say nice things about them. Tell them while they are still alive to read or hear it! I think a lot of us are guilty of waiting too long, and I will certainly try to change that for myself. I hope that by sharing the video, I can help spread Dusty’s message to others, as well.

Dicken feat. Milah & Korben

Dicken feat. Milah & Korben: "Everything Counts"

I’m a very emotional guy and the video made me really sad. Luckily, there was another video that lifted me right back up. It’s over a month since it was uploaded, but I just saw it for the first time yesterday. It’s a guy called Dicken Schrader and his two kids, Milah and Korben, performing Depeche Mode’s Everything Counts. It’s seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Usually, I’m not too keen on “cute kids being cute” videos. It’s cute once, for a while. You know, in small doses. But this video just turned my whole face into one big smile and made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve now watched it close to ten times in the last 24 hours, and it still has the same effect on me. Dicken is obviously a fantastic musician, and his kids are utterly charming. I won’t bother describing the video further, I’ll just urge you to go watch it right now. Special thanks to my good friend B for showing me it in the first place.

Space Stallions

Space Stallions

Last up is another video posted only yesterday. It’s a great little short from The Animation Workshop: Space Stallions! Reminiscent of 1980′s cartoons like He-Man and Voltron, this is a fabulous piece of animation that’s sure to bring forth feelings of nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the 80′s. I hope you enjoy it.

Take care, all. Much love. <3