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Feb 28, 2023·edited Feb 28, 2023Pinned

also: everyone go check out Kimia's substack, she's the cool lady who works with AI and said my AI post was SPOT ON, so she's a good person for sure -- https://kimiadargahi.substack.com/

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deletedMar 2, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`
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hooorah hip hip for yay

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deletedMar 3, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`
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omggg thank u

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Feb 28, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

HELLO WELCOME NEW FOLKS THE VIBES ARE VIBING IN THEIR VIBING MANNER OF VIBES COME VIBE

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official BAT greeter right here

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Feb 28, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I would change nothing about the Titanic just like I would change nothing about Applebee's.

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applebees is headquartered mere minutes from me i am walking there now

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ALEX! Once again you put it out there, and once again I'm in awe of what you do. Yeah the jokes are great; they're focus group tested, after all. But it's the way you lead with your heart that really speaks to me, and at the risk of speaking for the BAT community, I think your vulnerable style speaks to everyone here.

I don't struggle with ADHD, or any kind of decision challenges, so it's difficult for me to understand what that's like. But I think this essay might be the best explanation I've seen. Thank you for that! Also, on behalf of someone who might not feel comfortable leaving a comment, thank you for making that person feel seen!

Here's the thing: you are not alone. I struggle with depression and anxiety. Believe it or not, I used to think that anxiety was just my personality, and just as bad, a key ingredient to my humor. Yikes. That was a fun one to unwind in therapy. Meanwhile, I thought depression was something I could avoid by making my bed every morning and walking a lot, and while both of those habits help, the idea that you can just do X, or Y, or even Z to avoid whatever mental health issues you're dealing with is, well, bonkers, and also a really good recipe for shit going totally off the rails at some point.

What I've learned about mental health is that the hardest part is naming the problem. A close second is dealing with whatever ails you, and of course, doing that dealing is really fucking hard. But, and I think this is really important, the only people I've seen who fail to make any progress at all are the ones who refuse to name the problem. And I don't mean name it like put a clinical label on it, I mean name it like saying to themselves, the people they love, and ideally a therapists, "my shit is fucked up, please help!" It's a sad thing to admit, but as a 45-year-old dude, I think I know more people who have come eyeball to eyeball with their own titanic situations and said, "yeah, I'm just gonna bury all of this emotional turmoil deeper than Davy Jones's locker." In contrast, I know a few people, like you, who have said, "my shit is fucked up, please help!" And the thing about those people is that they struggle. They really fucking struggle. But they don't struggle alone, my friend, and I think that's important.

One last thing, and I don't want to invalidate anything I said here, but I feel it's important to get all of this out there because you're a pretend lawyer and I think full-disclosure is warranted. I never saw Titanic. I don't think that changes anything, but since I haven't seen it, I don't really know. But I want you to know that I haven't seen Titanic, just in case I'm out here giving bad advice. Please don't pretend sue me.

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the big question here, the one scientists will ponder the rest of their lab filled days, is 'could michael have had such a insightful and kind comment WERE HE TO HAVE SEEN THE TITANIC?"

though I do not know, I am sure glad its true

dude thank you I appreciate that a lot and agree w you. It's interesting, bc the thing I find hardest right now about it all is sharing stuff like this in the world because of how much I still doubt it to be true. doubt being a core feature of the slavic jew personhood model I came equipped with, excarbated by all sortsa other shit but anyways, there's a big part of me that's like 'yea dude have fun with your little story but you do know its bullshit right?'

I dont know if theres really anything to be done with this, no solve, but I'm curious if you ever had the same?

thanks again dude this comment really meant a lot

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I hereby nominate Michael as speaker of the BAT community (even though he's never seen Titanic)

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seconded (even tho the bastard already accepted the nom without a seconded)

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I accept the nomination, Lyle. But I need to warn you and the rest of the BAT community that I’ve lost elections in high school, college, and law school. Actually, I’ve never won an election. So even if I’m running for this BAT speaker thing unopposed, there’s a good chance I still might lose.

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the only other person who came forward to be Speaker for the BAT community was a slimy politician type who thought it was a 'speaker of the house' situation, and so he was of course BANNED.

congrats. its all yours. we will need a speech

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I believe in you.

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agreed but he shud see titanic anyways

like i do just shuffling thru to kate winslet scenes featuring AI enhanced body parts

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AI enhanced body parts??!!

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im a numb nuts what can i say?

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Michael, I so agree! Alex is wildly funny, but it's the tenderness and vulnerability that so touch my heart! And yes to everything you said about mental illness. I find so often by naming our struggles, by saying "hello!" to them, they soften a little and become easier to engage. And yes-yes to camaraderie as we sort through it all. Life. Sheesh.

Also: I saw Titanic and it made me mad; I'm in the Jack-could-have-fit-on-the-floating-wooden-board camp.

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haahah thank u Jane!

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Making a fake website for The Gap is next level commitment to a bit

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fake?

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Tik Tok keeps telling me I have ADHD (showing me ADHD content) and I don't know if I agree or not, but I did have to delete Tik Tok because I got to the point where I couldn't watch them all the way through, even the 30-second ones, because I just kept scrolling after two or three seconds.

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this is a big part of my whole worry about all of that stuff...like, I look at that stuff and i'm like a) I def have it and b) these ppl are annoying.

but its one of those 'i dont wanna have the thing everyone has' experiences too where if everyone is saying they have it then its probably bullshit and so am I.

but i did talk to a provessional psychiatrist and psychologist both of whom were like 'oh yea buddy you are waaaay severe on the adhd thing like no doubt about it you got it'

but still i doubt...

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This was like being stuck inside of one of those dreams you have when you've got a bad head cold and post nasal drip keeps waking you up. Except I hate those and I loved this.

Also I've been working on a post about ADD/ADHD (which I definitely have, along with approximately 50% of people, but here I am getting ahead of myself), and I'll probably bug you for your thoughts on the subject before I finish and publish it.

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hahahahahaha this wins best description of the essay thank you.

and yes dude i'm around wheneverf happy to chat

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Black mirror and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland! What a fascinating, beautiful, heart-felt ride.

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Feb 28, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I would have crashed head first into that iceberg, always take challenges like that. And anyway, isn't it just basically another pebble to overcome in the road that is life (except it's made of water so even easier).

It's also been (scientifically) proven that it would have been the better (third) option so there's that. Check it out if you don't believe me.

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what the heck I totally blew it I coulda saved the titanic my ship, my little titanic

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I like how you think!

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dear alex,

i love you! and i very much enjoy "Daddy Starbuck"!

and here are the answers to your questions:

1) Would you have done ANYTHING differently in terms of running The Titanic?

Yes.

2) Do you also have mental health stuff? If so do you wanna share so I don’t feel so alone?

I do! I have obsessive tendencies. Or compulsive ones. Or both. Or neither. Or some combination. Do you feel less alone yet? I want you to. I'm here with you.

3) Is decision paralysis a thing in your life? If not, what’s that like? If so, what’s that like?

For me, it's not really. Or maybe it is. (That part is a joke. It's really not very much for me.) It does take some work I think for me to think about the things I want to do and to think about how when I'm doing something of a different category, that's what I've decided to do. Could you reframe it as, when you feel decision-paralyzed, you're DECIDING to feel that way? Because maybe part of you is! If that helps you feel it less, or accept that you're feeling it more. Or other. Your choice!

4) This one wasn't a question. I finished your questions!

thanks Alex!

love

myq

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listen up smart guy first off thank you as always.

second - i guess i could try that about me thinking i'm deciding to feel that way but it really doesn't feel that way! I wish I was deciding one thing or the other but I can't because I am stuck

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i hear you!

and i understand it doesn't FEEL that way, but could it THINK that way?

like, i heard this quote once: "no choice is also a choice." and it makes sense. like, if you have to decide whether you're going to do something or not and you don't decide, surprise, your decision is made!

question: have you ever made a decision? my guess is that you must have. to start this blog. to write this comment. to read what i'm writing. you have LOTS of decision movement. so it's not ONLY that you're decision-paralyzed. EVEN IF IT FEELS THAT WAY. YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MAKE SOME DECISIONS. (have i made you into a straw man?)

i love you!

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I drowned reading this, only to catch a second wind and sail majestically to the shore. I’m sunbathing now and feeling accomplished. Thank you, loved all of it :)

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hahahah exactly what I had intended. glad you made it to shore

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To be honest the one bad Titanic decision that really galls me is their failure to load the lifeboats to full capacity. Everything else kinda falls in the spectrum of understandable, but not forgiveable. The lifeboats thing is like "At this point you're acting like you want people to die."

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that was a big uh oh on my part as well

i really wanted people to see us with a lot of space on the boats so they thought we were wealthy

it was a mistake

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Very funny AND a disturbing stream of consciousness. If you were not prone to barrister impersonation I would say "Both Are True" -- What is true is this is an AWESOME new subscription for me and I, due to my quirks and mental challenges try to limit myself to 10 subscriptions!!!

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10. I admire your dicipline! I'm trying to cull from about 86. I'm not a good minimalist.

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My subscriptions just kept growing for me. First I made a bunch of Gmail rules so they wouldn't pile up in my inbox. Next I created shortcuts in my browser that worked across my devices so I can read on a bigger screen mostly. While I have loaded the app, I don't enjoy reading on the phone. Then I poked around and figured out how I could get them on my Kindle on which I like to read. Now, whenever I poke above ten it means I gotta decide which ones to shift to "time available". I can see how this can quickly get out of control for all of us. We are a subset of the human race (a very good subset) that enjoys reading. I just looked and I have 12 subscriptions and 30+ in the shortcuts. Ten appears to be MERELY the goal :)

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Mar 1, 2023·edited Mar 1, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

A lofty goal, but a good one. I don't love reading on my phone either, so I have a new morning routine that includes my tablet. A window in my bedroom looks out at a beautiful tree and I start most days sitting on a round, rotating single seater coach there. My 2 dogs jump up and find their cuddle spots and I drink an extra hot coffee while reading substacks on said tablet. When I read something particularly poignant, I glance out the window at the beautiful tree, because I am whimsical.

Back to your goal. Because I'm subbed to so many, I feel like I sometimes rush through them to read them all. OR, I end up just reading bits and then moving on to the next one. Which is what I was doing on social media before (that I was so glad to stop - the irony is not lost).

Hence, I'm culling now, so I can forge deeper relationships with the pubs that I adore.

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You and I seem to have similar goals. I love writing and do it mostly for me at this point. I feel like a bit of a relationship evolves as people come to know your writing, your POV and the same rings true for their writing I think. While I subscribe to many Newsletters where it is likely the author doesn't read mine, I could care less. I observe, more importantly (at least for me) that the essence of a writing style permeates the comments also. I am glad you made this comment as I am pondering my subscriptions again. While I have nosed ahead of ten, some of them are infrequent posters. I would imagine I am still somewhere in that ten sweetspot so I have a settled mind for now.

I might peek at Great Things as your comment style is engaging.

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Damn it! I wrote you a thorough well thought-out (and somewhat hilarious) comment but then I got distracted by your newsletter's name, so I clicked on it to sub and then I lost my comment!!!

What I remember saying:

- Thank you!

- you gave me fresh thoughts because I haven't really considered the style in posts vs comments thing

- I realised recently that I enjoy when people have fun in the comments of my publication (esp when they talk to each other and not just to me), so I'm enjoying doing that on other people's publications. Because be the change and all that. PLUS, I get to have interesting fun chats like this one.

- I fervently believe in what you say in your publication description, so I will go against everything I said in our chat above and will sub to yours, coz I suspect I might love it.

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Be warned Medha. I am in my early sixties and never wrote creatively until I was sixty. The Substack thing for me is to learn to write creatively as I have always dreamed of writing a book in retirement and have a decent structural outline. When I started, I joined a creative writing group and wrote EVERY DAY -- yikes. It is looking back at those early posts that fuels me as they aren't too bad (IMO) -- I recently wrote about the Chicken (Gallus Gallus Domesticus) and the Egg and I don't think anyone realized the irony in it :) -- my topics are all over the place so I hope you find some you enjoy -- I am settled into a once a week habit and that seems right.

I was moved by one of your posts that remains open in another tab as we lost a close family member to Glioblastoma Multiformae and it was hard.

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this conversation between you both symbolic of how hard it is as one of you suggests to limit subs to less than say 86 because here are two very interesting minds/thinkers and you just KNOW when you hit up their newletters its gonna be like music junkie (me) who saves every other song to apple music library to the point where there are so many songs on there why bother just let the entire HISTORY OF SONGS play on shuffle and let fate or whim or whatever dictate how you apportion "time" to read......in meantime as you both are obviously aware its good to write for YOU, the world the audience is secondary and if its good and not even a formulaic marketable niche but genuine in whatever that niche may be (if there even NEEDS to be one) those you want to read it will be attracted like bees to pollen bearing flower/shrub haphazard and not shilled in by carnival barker if that makes sense

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This was very nice to read. Situational awareness is definitely a layer below experience. The title of your Newsletter is fantastic. For me, the title is very important. Tools like Apple Music or equivalent are what make life in the present wonderful depending upon how we use them. We have options like never before. Opting for global shuffle is fine if that is what you want. Seems better to establish your own boundary and explore the new thoughtfully. Having no limits to what we read, listen to, IMO, and for me only doesn't work well because the constraint we will always be amidst is time. Ben Franklin is one of my favorite historical characters. He explored so many varied things in his life and necessarily, at least for him required a discipline to figure out what he wanted / needed to do and had a structure to make it come true for him. He is credited with 'To love life is to love time, as that is what life is made of". Who knows what make life lovely for one person to the next. What I sense is it is NOT scouring social media. We act as if this is the first time such a bad choice existed. I would imagine there were always people who got their daily Newspaper and flipped right to the Editorial Pages and went down the rabbit hole every day to no good end. The editoriial page is a lot longer these days and doesn't even have to pass the checkpoint of thoughtfulness, spelling, etal. It is extraordinary to me how people have loaded themselves into activities like Social Media when what it offers is without any context except to be a shiny object. For me, longform writing is different as it requires our minds to slow and redirects us to ignore our primitive sensory brain and think. I may have to peek at this chocolate / bacon thing as a result. You, like every Newsletter for me has to start out in the adhoc list of things to peek at. It is getting harder to keep my list to my David Letterman Top 10

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yeah so cool so now i gotta subscribe to you and her thing when i get around to it...also: Ben Franklin!! always one (with of course graham nash, billy gibbons, jimi hendrix ie "evolutionary awareness, modesty, cool):of the incredible humans for me and i need to research more bio on him but and yet damnnnnn so MANY substacks to unpack....currently im reading the Noble Try from forward to back a cool looping time thing but perfect example like say this guy or BAT of just tasting pure joy in commonality, shared hmmmmmmmm wavelengths....thanks man

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hahaha i'm glad you're here Mark!

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

The important thing I think is that you were eating peanut butter and banana which is such a healthy, delicious and SATISFYING snack!

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its gotta be in the top 3 snacks of all time wouldnt you agree??

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Mar 2, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Oh yeah. But maybe even better is peanut butter and sliced banana on a rice cake? And then even though PB is very salty I put more salt on the whole thing. Two of those is a good snack and four is a great lunch! Esp. with coffee and candy.

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!!!! Coffee and candy with Anne should be a television program WHO DO I TALK TO ABOUT THIS

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How much I am paralysed by a decision is inversely correlated with how important the decision is.

Thought process when choosing between vegetable chow mein vs pork chow mein: Oh god, uh... I'm not vegetarian, but I believe in it as a concept. But I haven't had meat in a couple of weeks, and I probably need the protein, and it's potentially tastier. But the veggie option is slightly cheaper, and probably slightly more nutritious... Isn't there another place that does chow mein? That place could be better, or cheaper, or deliver faster. But also I already had a takeaway earlier this week, and although I have enough money, it seems decadent to have yet another takeaway - if I kept getting takeaways this frequently how much money would I be spending per year? Anyway, we have soup at home, I could eat some soup. Oh wait, they have udon noodles too. Oh, actually I realise I'm going to be busy the next couple of days so whatever I eat there will be leftovers and I'm not sure if someone will eat them, I don't want to waste food. But I really don't feel like eating some soup. Everyone else is waiting on me now, so I'll just pick one... Although I ought to go for something I haven't tried before rather than sticking to the same thing. Everything on this menu is expensive... I'll just eat chocolate for dinner.

Thought process when the opportunity arises to move across the country: yup, sure, just give me a sec to email my landlord.

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hahahaha damn i feel this 100% and also great call on chocolate for dinner truly.

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i think i dissociated a little bit while reading this, in a good way! also, i eat a PB&B every morning for breakfast, and it is 100% to avoid having to make a decision. i don't even like bananas that much! anyway all this ship talk made me remember the song Another New World by Josh Ritter (also performed by the Punch Brothers) and man that is a great song, i recommend it.

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PB&B for the win!! it is the best snack there is nothing better I will fight anyone on this point alone

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