Santi’s shed


The mind body challenge

What is Western culture missing?

On addictions

What happens when you talk? Understanding the process of talking.

What is natural?

A very simple hypothesis of how the consciousness work


Quotes and thoughts on them

El equipo – A short story (in Spanish)

Email: aranguri at stanford dot edu


  1. when you are going through a bad moment, or you don’t have clarity, ask yourself: what is useful? Identify it and do it. When you feel that something might be wrong, ask yourself, is this useful? I found me asking myself, what is useful? what is useful? what is useful? It is not about planning: find the action, do the action, search for the next action.
  2. Take simplicity as a maxim, in every part of life. Note that a useless piece of work which is simple will be empty. Hence, a non-empty piece of work which is simple will be useful. “There is life in a pray without paraphernalia.” But emotions are another game. The most important maxim is to hug (metaphorically), to embrace.
  3. when you see yourself discriminating someone or being unfair with someone or being annoyed at someone, tell yourself: this someone is a fellow human being. They deserve everything you can give them, unless they are actively doing bad things to other people. And in that case, you still have the responsibility to try changing things.
  4. Every human deserves the same, but every human is different. how to reconcile this?
  5. in the group house where I live at Stanford, there is a closet that serves two functions: for people to have sex, and for videocalls. That is the closest definition to what a University is.
  6. Children play games. Of course, for almost all real tasks in an evolutionary environment, they are not ready. To prepare for them, they play. But children’s brains weren’t prepared for the current world. This means there are “good” games and “bad” games, in the sense that there ae games that will prepare children more for the future than other games. There is a counter-force to this: we cannot be devoid of the evolutionary environment (ie, “humans are not machines.”) We care about men being physically strong, and this seems right from a rational perspective.
  7. What is music? for me, it is about feeling. Sometimes we cannot just express things by talking with people, by writing. We need help. What does addiction mean? “A” means not “diction” means being able to talk. It is on not expressing that we create resentment. Music also induces ways of thinking on you, select those carefully! Expressing yourself, that is the goal.
  8. The hell yeah or no is not absolute. I can see relationships I had where I would say hell yeah to everything the other person says (say a professor) vs relationships I would say no everytime. Sometimes the advice is to say no a lot. Well, that is written by people whose message is arriving to you. Ie, people that probably receive a lot of offers. But when you are starting and young, saying more yes cna be the right choice.
  9. Links. Links change all the context inmeditaley. Paul Graham says “is there any kind of work I would prefer to do for an hour than being wondering in rome or having sex? No.” And links are testing that discipline all the time. It doesn’t seem there was something as powerful before.
  10. Don’t assume people will give you all their attention. Don’t blame it on them. They may be doing it unconsciously. They may do it when they think that they are not getting anything from what you are saying, or that they are not being helpful. They mat be tired. But also assume that I have something that will catch their attention, it might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Also, remember giving people second opportunities.
  11. is there a difference between a mathematician and a song writer, both having as their inspiration their wife? The same pure feeling. They know that what matters is their status. In other words, the wife doesn’t judge his husband per se. Instead, the people around judge the husband, and the wife looks at the judgement of the people (ie, she looks at the status.)
  12. If you are going to scold someone, ask yourself: “am I becoming an old person?” and “would my 16-year-old version do this?”
  13. I like being weird, and I like receiving content from other weird people. Remember how much fun we get from bizarre situations. It is similar to running extremely fast: you realize that things (and previous limits) were arbitrary. It is enligthening, confusing, and gives you freedom.
  14. In math and physics, symmetries are very important. Symmetries tell us that we reduce the complexity of a system, since two things that are different in general are the same in this case. Also, when we study objects, we consider the best ways of throwing away information. (Humans do this all the time: we are not processing all the sensory information we receive.) And this makes sense: after all, doing math is about solving questions. And a question is reducing a big space to a small space. Eg, if I ask how old is the oldest tree in the world, the big space is all the trees a smaller space would be all trees older than 100 years and the final small space is the oldest tree.
  15. If you don’t feel like doing your intellectual job standing up, then reconsider what you are doing. It might be too boring or you might be too tired.
  16. It seemed obvious, I couldn’t understand how people didn’t want to go to study to the US. I couldn’t understand what was the thing about me moving to the US to study. Why don’t they care about work and I care so much about it? I can only realize the (enromous) value when I see that work is not the most important thing in life.
  17. (continued) What am I missing now? First, what I was missing is the structure of a family, the value in casual, innocouous things. In a social environment, the way to gather information is emotional. You would go astray if you try to reason about what to do next in a social interaction. But why? Reasoning is just not designed for it. And note that in math you also use your intuition, when you feel that the claim is True. It makes little sense to scrutinize that feeling. Indeed, what makes the most sense is to act according to it.
  18. I suffered for a bias when I was writing my essays: I didn’t like to remove written text. So I took hours trying to remove words from my writings. However, if I hadn’t come up with the idea of that text, I wouldn’t mind at all not having that written text. So, be confident enough to remove text.
  19. I like being weird, and I like receiving content from other weird people. Note how much fun or amazement I have from weird moments. It is similar to running extremely fast: you realize that things were arbitrary. It is enligthening, confusing, and gives you freedom.
  20. there is a distinction between what a man and a woman get from a romantic interaction. Indeed, the interaction for a man makes him want to work more and better. Inspiration. (See for instance how many books and works are dedicated to wives.) The effect of this seems smaller on woman. It feels as if the motivation for work for the woman comes more from inside, it seems more pure.
  21. I sit close to the duty free in the airport. I see people being hypnotized when they see objects in the duty free. I am not free of this: I got hypnotized by looking at the people that get hypnotized. Two reasons for me being hypnotized: (a) trying to understand people, and (b) believing I am different than the people entering the duty free. Reason (a) is good, (b) is bad. So: be conscious of what I will be hypnotized by. Perhaps you can’t choose every thought you have. But you can choose the context. A lack of deliberation can be deliberated.
  22. another version of email/messenger: interface that shows one email at a time only showing the address of the sender or title.