08 Mar

Knowing What Keeps You Sane

Banner: Meditation at the lakeshoreWe humans are pretty good at finding the negative sides of our lives. All the little annoyances that litter our days. Those tiny angers we encounter on the road, at work,  at home.

We can’t avoid them, no matter how we try.

But that’s OK. Our brains are made that way. What makes life good is figuring out those parts that keep you afloat when everything else is dragging you down. Read More

15 Feb

Your Brain as a Group of Warring Tribes

Banner - rowersOnce upon a time in the dark ages of economic history, the human being was a rational agent.

We evaluated what we want, and found the cheapest way to get it. This, of course, had nothing to do with how humans act in reality. Instead, there came the much simplified theory of behavioral rewards.

It said that the brain creates neural pathways, using dopamine to reinforce or suppress them based on the rewards it’s received. This, too, proved wrong. Read More

08 Feb

How Math Destroys Your Progress

Banner - DiceThere is an element of chance in everything we do. Call it chance, fortune, Lady Luck. Call it whatever you want. But it means that if you did great today, you’re doing worse tomorrow. Here’s why.

Imagine that you have an amazing writing day. Let’s say that you managed to type in 4000 beautiful words in a single afternoon, producing four times as much as you normally do.  Everything is great. You’re totally on a roll. Read More

11 Jan

No Pressure

Banner: running in the snowI’ve been told that I am ambitious and having two day jobs and a third on the way, as well as my writing and game designing, I concede that there might be something in that.

There’s nothing wrong with doing lots of things all at once, as long as it’s fun. Everyone is happy, right?

Not quite. Read More

14 Dec

You’ve got to have hope

You’ve got to have hope.

Not blind faith. This business is way too influenced by luck for that. Not a realistic assessment of your chances. Your chances are way too uncertain for that. Hope.

Hope is the feeling that you could achieve something with a bit of luck, with a bit of skill, with a bit of perseverance. Hope is the feeling that what you do matters, that you can influence the world around you in a positive way. Hope is what makes life in uncertain times possible. It doesn’t really matter what your business is, how uncertain it is, or what you’re writing, or creating, or hoping for.

You need hope simply to survive. Read More

30 Nov

Going in the Wrong Direction

Banner - Computer Charts

I’m switching web hosts, and nothing is working.

The problem is that I’ve changed the domain registrar, the people who make sure this web site is in the global internet address book, together with my web host. Unfortunately, the address change hasn’t spread to the rest of the internet.

So whenever someone types wiltgren.com into the browser, they’re being directed to my old web host instead of my new web host.

It’s a very minor thing. Just a little switch of direction. And yet, it make everything I do flawed. Read More

23 Nov

Does your mirror say that you’re happy?

Banner - Sunrise

In my day job, I do a lot of zoom meetings, and every time, I’m struck by how similar people look on zoom.

You can get 20 images, side by side in a big grid. 20 faces looking back at you. And they all frown. Every single one.

Granted, I’m from Sweden and Swedes are a bit of a dour people. We don’t have that compulsory, smiling thing that they do in Japan, or that big “I love everything in the world is great”-thing they do in the USA.

But still, I’ve spoken to people from other countries on zoom, and they don’t look much happier than I do. Read More