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Wellness Wednesday for May 1, 2024

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

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So, my wife isn't exactly a horder. In fact she's pretty aggressively in favor of getting rid of stuff. The problem is she can't throw anything out. Everything must be optimally upcycled: Gifted to friends or family. Or listed on Craigslist free. Or de-composed into rags for cleaning or kindling for making campfires. Or set aside for fabric recycling. Or set aside for dedicated styrofoam recycling runs at the dump. Meat/bone scraps? Turned into soup stock. Egg cartons re-used for next trip to the egg farm. Etc. Etc.

She even refuses to take stuff to Goodwill (across the street!) because she just knows they ruthlessly throw away everything that's not economically viable and that just won't do.

It's really a perfect homesteader attitude. She would be perfect in a Fallout-style apocalypse. When she had time for this it was very cute.

But we have kids now and all of this bullshit is piling up faster than we can get rid of it in our storage room (aka my office) and it's an unsightly mess and she just stresses all of the time about how she has no time for any of this stuff and she beats herself up because if I take the kids out to give her time she's caught up between either exercising or trying to make a dent on this gigantic pile of garbage and it's mounting and there's no actual time in there for her to just chill and enjoy the empty quiet house.

Of course we homeschool so there's really actually no other time to do this because there are kids up her ass otherwise.

How do I convince her to... just throw all of this shit out? It's such an unbelievable waste of time and energy to be thinking about perfectly upcycling all of this shit all of the time, IMO.

Is this a sub-specialty of horderism she would be diagnosed with?

Imo, pretend you don't care about the clutter, focus on the stuff she feels guilty not having time to do stuff with. Sort the set-asides into bins for her, and stick them outside. Out of sight, no stress, eventually get rid of most of it.

Tell her you'll do the stock together next time you buy a lamb or half a cow. Doing a big batch is way more efficient than boiling two chicken thigh bones and a wing.

I hoard stuff too, but it's great. There's a complete set of backup kitchen appliances wrapped up in an outbuilding. When my fridge-freezer broke this week, I just rolled a smaller one in on a dolly and moved all the important food into it. Now I've got the regular one fixed the backup can go back out to the barn for a few more years.

Hoarding reduces stress if you do it right, but letting it build up low-productivity tasks is awful. Getting the "upcycling pile" turned into "upcycling garbage bins" is the key.

I am very against holding onto things. Personally, my job (chef) has taught me that space is as much of a resource as time or money (or charity). Cluttered spaces are unpleasant, less productive, and (as you note) really weigh on your mind. And very often, holding onto something just means throwing it out later, and losing out on the free space in the meantime.

My partner is a bit like your wife. She picked up some habits from her parents and situation growing up, and doesn’t like to waste anything. I think it's an admirable trait and something I also strive for, but there is a cost/benefit ratio that just doesn’t pay off sometimes.

I would recommend talking and seeing if she would be willing to compromise on certain things. Let her determine the things that absolutely shouldn't be thrown out, and work your way down. Maybe something like a value threshold for larger items, or a par level (>10 rags means garbage). You can look at it more globally, like considering how much you value an hour of your time in dollars. Compare that to the value of the item and how much work it takes to properly dispose of it, and you might find that stuff under $50 (or whatever amount) isn't worth the hassle.

What I found with my partner is that she feels bad getting rid of stuff that could be put to better use, but that dissipates if I want to deal with it. I would say aim to start fresh. See if she is OK with you dealing with the current pile, and you can discuss what guidelines to follow in the future. I think just starting to deal with it will help get the ball rolling.

Does anyone use a Kardia heart monitor or apple watch?

I have a family member with atrial fibrillation, and a pharmacist who also has it was showing off how the apple watch alerts him when his heart starts beating irregularly/arrhythmically. A Kardia is a much cheaper alternative that also includes a basic EKG somehow, but does anyone know how useful this is in practice?

“HRV for Biofeedback” is an app for iOS that is very accurate as far as I can tell and uses the camera + flash on your smartphone to graph your heartbeat in real time. Note that it costs $5 and you have to stop and do a 1-minute scan, it’s not always-on.

I had tachycardia (sudden-onset very fast heartbeat) not long ago. My smartwatch didn’t detect it (too brief, too far out of expected range) but the app showed it perfectly. The response on the graph also showed heartbeat returning to normal exactly at the moment I felt it do so. It was also able to show things like skipped beats. Strongly recommend.

I thought about getting a Kardia but in practice the app was as much as I needed. Is this just for personal checking, or does your friend need the alert?

I enjoy chewing ginger and thyme. What else should I try chewing on?

Basil, Mint, Rosemary (not all at once)

Cloves, they are spicy and are supposedly good for your teeth.

I matched with a woman on Hinge on Friday. Talked to her for two days, then on sunday asked her out to a free live music thing at a bar for monday; cocktails at a cocktail bar, 10 minute walk to the venue. She said maybe, then the day of said she was tired. I asked her out to lunch instead since I didn't have another free evening this week. She confirmed this morning for today at 1:00. By the time I replied, she'd already unmatched with me.

Met a woman at the park yesterday. She came up to me, we had a long conversation, she spent most of it laughing and smiling. She reacted with glee when I said I also smoked weed. I asked her for her phone number, we could share a joint at lunch sometime. She said yes, shouted "Text me! :)" as I walked away.

No reply to that text message sent later that day with my #. No reply to the text I sent today asking about tomorrow. There will be no further texts.

I hate my life so much. I haven't had a date actually happen in six months.

I hate my life so much. I haven't had a date actually happen in six months.

Keep it in perspective. It could always be worse. It could be a year. It could be five years. Or a decade. Or maybe you could not date at all due I dunno, a horrible circumcision accident or something of a similar nature.

Always remember, dating for long-term relationships is one of the things where rates mean nothing, a single true success is enough. I also was struggling badly to get any positive attention whatsoever from women until I met my wife.

How can rates mean nothing? It would be harder to get a relationship if you can hardly get any dates in the first place, wouldn't it?

In the sentence construction "X means nothing, [elaboration]" , the first part is usually slight hyperbole, and the second part explains in which way it does mean something. So for example if I talk about a video game and say "HP means nothing, you're either dead or not" it tells you the important lesson that you can freely use HP as a resource, except for the very last point, which is the one that does matter.

For dating, if you meet couples in their forties or later, you'll often notice how little it matters whether they were successful daters in the past, had good conversion rates, etc. The rate only matters insofar as to get a single success. Then suddenly other things matter much more. And even if you have pretty crappy rates, you actually can compensate, by just trying more often, or trying for longer. So even that minimum rate tends to be lower than you intuitively think.

I mean, that seems like it actually does matter pretty significantly? Like if the rates are so low you don't meet someone until very late in life, I would consider that quite bad indeed.

She said maybe, then the day of said she was tired. I asked her out to lunch instead since I didn't have another free evening this week. She confirmed this morning for today at 1:00. By the time I replied, she'd already unmatched with me.

This behaviour is common with the apps. Just flakey unavailability due to juggling multiple potential options. Next time if she says maybe and doesn't suggest an alternative, she means no.

She said yes, shouted "Text me! :)" as I walked away. No reply to that text message sent later that day with my #. No reply to the text I sent today asking about tomorrow. There will be no further texts.

This is also sadly not unheard of. Don't let it get you down. If you can approach one girl IRL, you can approach more, and many will follow through on meeting you.

I should have been more specific: The above ALWAYS happens. It doesn't happen sometimes, it happens inevitably with every Hinge match.

If it happens all the time (not just on hinge), then you need to change something.

6 months is objectively grim but I had 0 dates from age 23 to 26... So all I can say is you'll get through it :P, and also increasingly the norm for the average young man. If they get laid at all that is.

I'm in a similar boat to you I've dated two women in the recent past, both from the apps, atleast they converted to dates, but my god are they boring and lack any moving parts inside their heads... It's going to be a long road lol

Shit man, I had 0 dates up until age 30. I somehow got married, much to my infinite surprise. Just goes to show that you never can really know the future for sure, I guess.

I have a great deal more empathy for all the poor bastards I've advised to quit smoking over the years when I had found myself cold-turkeying a rather strong nicotine addiction. A puff on my vape once I got home hit harder than sex.

(I had to catch a flight, and vapes are illegal to carry aboard here, I still refuse to smoke actual fucking cigarettes, so all I did was suffer rather grumpily for the better part of a week)

Nicotine seems very tough to quit. A lot of people with not hugely addictive personalities who can control their gambling / drinking / weed use / etc seem to very much struggle with it.

Use gum to get a mild stimulant effect and weak habit forming. Suuuuper easy for me to stop using it weeks at a time, like for just taking a trip or something.

That's hardly surprising, or else we wouldn't have so many people offing themselves from COPD or lung cancer. Though the claim is that there are additional substances in cigarettes that are addictive in of themselves, or potentiate the addictive properties of nicotine.

At least in my case I can claim it was an informed decision, I don't really have many vices, and I did come to the conclusion that if vaping is bad for you, it's an order of magnitude or less so than getting your fix through cigarettes. Certainly it's gotten me through some real stinker shifts, with far less hassle. And just nicotine, by itself? Unless you're some poor bastard with diabetes so bad your toes are liable to fall off, it's not really any worse for you than coffee is. I wouldn't call it a nootropic, but it at least lets you choose when to be at your 110%, paid back by the fact that you're 90% when not on it.

What are your thoughts on Zyn?

I've been thinking about using it to get addicted to exercise.

Well, as a pure form of nicotine it's even less likely to cause any harm as compared to vaping, which is already reasonably close to net neutral in terms of effects on your health.

I prefer vaping for the convenience, but if I knew I was going to go through nicotine withdrawals, I'd buy some gum or buccal formulations. Otherwise, I don't really see the appeal myself.

Yeah I agree I don’t think there are major issues with regular nicotine consumption from vapes. One of the few smart policy decisions from the UK in recent years is allowing large scale advertising of vaping which I think has contributed to the decline in smoking. Vaping is essentially harmless as far as I’m aware, fears of health issues were always overblown.

How do I capitalize on the fact that the social fabric is fraying at breakneck speed?

Please no "ai girlfriend startups" and defense contractors. I really think GenZ onwards is fucked beyond repair, and I have accepted the outcome personally and intellectually. That doesn't mean I can't make riches from it though. Let's get creative here.

Start a cult.

If you aren't charismatic enough find a charlatan and then be his right-hand man that handles the finances.

The Bagawan is a good model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneesh

I think honestly, you could probably do well creating something to re-orient gen z people into healthier directions. I’ve personally found a philosophy of Stoicism mixed with secular Buddhism to be helpful for me, and I suspect such a thing mixed with proper socialization and physical activity as a sort of “adult summer camp” experience could not only make you a fair amount of money, but help to make them and by extension the rest of society a bit healthier.

you could probably do well creating something to re-orient gen z people into healthier directions.

You need to teach them to want.

Typically some mix of prostitution, protection rackets, recruitment of purposeless young men with non-monetary rewards, carving out parts of state power for yourself, exploiting legacy social structures for creating personal loyalties etc is how others do it.

I don’t have any original ideas but you can try starting from these first principles

How do I capitalize on the fact that the social fabric is fraying at breakneck speed?

I think this is more complicated than that in terms of market strategy. If anything, my feel for the zeitgeist is that this statement is true, but also that the median (Western) human is becoming acutely aware of this fact and it's starting to change behaviors. More than a few friends, even tech oriented ones, have done things like moving to tight-knit rural communities and taking up growing vegetables and raising chickens.

I don't have huge confidence in this, but I think there may be a groundswell of interest in deliberately investing in social fabric. This could conceivably go badly for tech companies: something like "social media is like alcohol: okay in small amounts, but everybody looks down on that guy that drinks beer for breakfast. Abstaining isn't frowned upon." Although I would be interested in something like Facebook was in 2010 that was primarily focused on actual social connections and not "influencers" or anonymous-ish groups.

There may be some business opportunities for explicitly creating Third Spaces, but what shape new ones would have is much less clear. Most of the general examples of those (gyms, coffee shops, bars) aren't in short supply, but also don't feel like they really are establishing communities anymore (or maybe large chains can't do local culture).

Yep, make some sort of paid "Minimalist Phone UI plus timed app/website blocker" if you can program.

If you have the start-up capital, make a clubhouse. I think the trick to making a third space is to make it so that you don't have to pay every time you visit. Something with a monthly or even annual fee. Keep costs down by encouraging patrons to clean up after every event. Maintain a few vending machines, offer free clean water.

Have bookshelfs with a "take a book, leave a book behind" kind of policy. Board games, cards, a kitchen playset for young kids. Have scheduled learning/crafting events, but encourage people to come in even if there's nothing going on. Maybe have sex-segregated areas if you can manage.

Gyms aren't really pleasant places to linger. Coffee Shops and Bars become expensive if you visit every day and they aren't suitable for a whole family.

I had a crazy idea recently. What if we took LLM AI and, uh, scaled it up? Make a social media platform where you are the star of the show. Just you, or maybe you plus a handful of friends, plus hundreds, thousands, or millions of AI chatbots who all adore you and want to worship you as a celebrity. Finally, every single person on Earth can be the most popular person on the planet!

This randomly reminded me that Chirper was a very obscure local thing some time ago - the idea was basically Twitter except populated entirely by character bots reminiscent to those hosted on Chub, who make shit up to tweet chirp according to their "definitions" and even repost things from other bots, usually referring to them somehow. I don't know what model powers the bots but it seems they can generate images as well.

I don't think the Lore anon of Chub fame is behind Chirper but Chub was definitely used as the seed to populate it: I remember at some point the two were linked directly - if you created a SFW character card via Chub, it would automatically get hosted on Chirper and the Chub page would contain a direct link to it, but the link was severed at some point, likely as part of Lore's continuing quest to distance himself from 4chan. The threads are still visible if you know where to look - for example, compare this Chub card (the "Tavern" tab contains proper definitions) to this Chirper account; at least it seems like Chirper does some rephrasing on import via their models (probably with some filter considering what Chub can contain) but the account's gist and handle are obvious clues.

Chirper is very barebones and very soy but I think the idea is sound, and I imagine can be gamified pretty easily into something similar to what you describe. For added dead internet deliciousness - setting legal issues aside for a moment: if Chirper's models can "digest" Chub cards to put them up as accounts, are Facebook/Twitter bios/photos of real actual people that much harder to scrape and repurpose into man-made horrors beyond your comprehension Chirper accounts, ready and willing to worship you as a celebrity?

Yeah... that does seem to be pretty much what I had in mind. Just need to add in the ability for a user to post and have the bots all interact with it and like it.

https://myshell.ai/ also seems to be working on this space.

I think some form of this is going to be extremely popular. It would have to be sold as affirmation, as about confidence, that kind of thing.

Most people would be repulsed by the idea, presented so badly. Far better to take over an existent social media site and flood it with the higher quality of bots.

Improved quality of discourse, and let's face it, once you finetune them out of their ability to say the n-word, most people would barely notice.

I don't know how to take over an existent social media site. They uh, tend to have defenses against that sort of thing.

In theory we could create an infinite number of new social media sites, and present each one as if it was real and legit. Each one just has to lure in one sucker. Sort of like shitcoins in the crypto space.

Please no "ai girlfriend startups"

Personal distaste or perceived unprofitability? Genuinely curious.

I wear my flair on my sleeve and continue to think that the first service to figure out how to milk coomers NEETs and not instantly evaporate under the Eye of Sauron's withering gaze will immediately go viral and make wild bank until the fad blows over. This applies to non-coomers as well but AI/LLM-based things invariably cut both ways anyway so the distinction has no practical difference.

Stupid thing I did this week: injured my lower back after following a driving range session with a kettlebell workout. I'm ashamed both of the fact that activity level was enough to cause an injury, and that I was stupid enough not to realize that level of activity would cause an injury. It is improving over a few days, no big deal, and I'm hopeful it's nothing, but I need to reassess my plans for the rest of the summer and that pisses me off.

On the contrary to the comments below, you should consider your activity overall. Hurting your back rolling over in bed is a sad fact of adulthood for many people, but if it happens after a week of intense back or leg workouts...

No sense in being ashamed. I also don't think you have to totally reassess your summer. However, you need to consider easing into extra training volume or new training loads. That means not going all out, or even moderately hard at first. Your body is going to stop moving optimally before you can't move a weight. Usually that means compensating somewhere else when a weaker muscle gets tired, and something gets tweaked.

The first thing that popped into my head when I read what happened to you is that you were doing a one-sided twisting motion followed by kettlebell exercises. It's easy to overwork specific parts of the body that way. Training volume plays a role in injury, but training while subtly twisting your core or favouring one side is what is likely the direct cause. Taking time to recalibrate your balance and symmetry between those things can help, if you plan on golfing more often. Stretching and mobility is often left by the wayside, but it will help you recover (and prevent those freak accidents while shaving). Warm up to your working sets with mobility, balance, lighter weights, and concern for how your body feels. Numbers are a measure of performance, but performance is what you actully want to improve.

No sense in being ashamed. I also don't think you have to totally reassess your summer. However, you need to consider easing into extra training volume or new training loads. That means not going all out, or even moderately hard at first. Your body is going to stop moving optimally before you can't move a weight. Usually that means compensating somewhere else when a weaker muscle gets tired, and something gets tweaked.

So at this point, I'm pretty confident that it was nothing, in that I'm feeling fine now. Nevertheless, I'm going to be extremely careful for a few weeks yet, so I'm altering my fitness plans somewhat. I'm going to drop the planned Kettlebell block, and move to focusing on Yoga and Climbing for the next month.

The foolishness started with going to the driving range and getting the bucket of 105, because the pricing was such that the first 35 went for $8, the next 35 were $4, and the last 35 were only $2. It seemed foolish not to buy the large bucket, even though I knew I hadn't golfed in months and should go smaller to get back into the groove. Then I compounded it by having lazed around having coffee and making love in the morning, and as a result trying to cram the other things I had planned that day into too little time, so while on my to-do list the driving range and the pentathlon were morning and evening, and in practice they were less than an hour apart. It was pure stupidity on my part.

Glad you're feeling better. As someone who's gone through the misery of back pain, I know the dread and pessimism of a twinge. As long as you don't charge through it with youthful stupidity, they usually bounce back just fine.

Have fun with the climbing and yoga. Both are great options for limbering up (and providing a good dose of mobility humility - easy to forget with strength training).

I'm ashamed both of the fact that activity level was enough to cause an injury...

Any level of activity is enough activity to cause an injury if you try hard and believe in yourself!

After casting my eyes down a bit, I see @Rov_Scam already said the same thing, but seriously, it's true. Similarly to Rov, I have the experience of being perfectly fine for 65 miles/week of running for an extended stretch, then tweaking my back getting out of bed in the morning. I ran a marathon on Sunday and the thing that hurts the most today is the shin that I slammed into the corner of the bed at the hotel last night. I will never cease being amazed at the capacity of the human body to simultaneously be durable to incredible insult while being frail to the slightest twist or bonk.

Any activity level can cause unexpected injury; all it takes is to move something the wrong way. There was a period of time when I was riding my bike about 25 miles a day after work, and 50 to 80 miles on the weekends, and I ended up throwing my neck out while reaching for a drink on the top shelf of a convenience store cooler. If you're repeatedly injuring yourself in the same way after doing the same thing, then I'd stop to reassess my plans or seek professional instruction, but one-off injuries are par for the course for reasonably active people. It's probably more of an "I moved something the wrong way" injury than an overuse injury.

Yeah. A few years ago when I was very fit i threw out my lower back not doing dead-lifts but turning over in bed...

Worst back pain I ever got was from shaving wrong. Somehow.

How bad is long-term use of ibuprofen really? Is taking 200mg twice a day going to wreck my GI tract or kidneys? What about only on workdays? What if I'm also on an ACE inhibitor?

Ibuprofen inhibits enzymes that produce prostaglandins, and this can, long-term at the doses you describe, cause the problems in the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys that you allude to as well as increasing the chance of blood clots and the associated risks of those (including atherosclerosis and all that baggage, e.g. heart attack). The ACE inhibitors increase potassium, which also isn't good for the kidneys if they're already working harder than necessary (ppl with kidney issues are told to avoid potassium-rich foods for this reason).

In short, long-term, not so great. Short-term probably fine. Presumably the ACE inhibitors are for blood pressure?

Edit: As usual this is not my wheelhouse, not an MD, just this stuff is what I read all the time for work.

How does one get into linguistics as a hobby? I would appreciate some creators or accounts on ig or twitter, people making YouTube videos and podcasts about linguistics.

Lurk https://old.reddit.com/r/linguisticshumor/ and try to understand all the jokes.

That was my main strategy for shifting gears from being a professional machine learning theory researcher to doing computational linguistics work.

What aspects of linguistics interest you? I'm afraid I don't have much advice for how to get into it as a hobby, but maybe some of this will help. Overall, my main recommendation would be to start learning the International Phonetic Alphabet, in parallel with whatever else you try. No matter what you wind up doing, being familiar with IPA will probably help you later. And it can be fun (or frustrating) to try to make all the funny mouth noises at will.

You don't mention books, but if you did, I'd recommend starting with John McWhorter, who also does the podcast "Lexicon Valley". He's probably best known here for his political commentary, but he's also a linguist (studying creoles, which are super cool), and is a shining counterexample to the depressing trend of linguistics professors being bad writers.

You might check out the Language Log blog, which is by a couple of linguistics professors who mostly post random linguistics-related things they find interesting. The most prolific of them specializes in Chinese, so that's a focus, but you can search through the archives and probably find a few entries on just about anything. If you poke around and find yourself fascinated by something, that's a good sign!


From an academic perspective, I'd tend to divide linguistics into a few categories. First, there's the core disciplines, things like phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. These are usually a combination of describing how languages work at that level (as best we can), and the Chomskyan project of uncovering the underlying structure in the brain. This latter aspect should currently be going through some serious upsets, with the new ability of LLMs to generate language, and I wonder whether it'll even be a going concern in 20 years. (Also, sign languages are an important variant to consider, being fully formed languages themselves.)

There's also historical linguistics, which was the focus of the field before Noam Chomsky came along. This is stuff like reconstructing proto-Indo-European, and untangling changes in non-Indo-European languages. It's almost like a puzzle, except you're often missing half the pieces.

There's specializations and extensions of linguistics into other fields, like linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics (I love this, despite having to deal with sociology), child language acquisition, language formation, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, and so forth.

And there's field research. All the other fields require data, but this is where data comes from. The most prominent type is going off into the middle of nowhere (often Papua New Guinea) and spending 3 or so years documenting the language (and culture, etc.) of an isolated tribe of people before their language and culture dies out completely. But it can also involve stuff like finding examples for the Oxford English Dictionary, or working on an OED equivalent for another language. Linguistics has been dominated by English speakers for the last half century or so, and by Europeans before that, so there's almost certainly good work that can be done by anyone in a different part of the world.

Anyway, that's what comes to mind as a description of the field, from my experience a few decades ago.

Here are some suggestions depending on what your exact interest in linguistics is:

  1. If you're interested in learning languages for travel, reading literature, impressing foreigners, etc. then you might want to check out Ecolinguist, Benny Lewis, Moses McCormick, Xiaomannyc, or Alexander Arguelles on YouTube and in terms of podcasts anything with slow in the title e.g. Slow German Podcast, News in Slow French, etc. for learning purposes.
  2. If you're interested in linguistics because you want to channel your inner Tolkien and invent conlangs for a fantasy novel, then jan Misali or the conlang and neography subreddits are your friends (and so is a historical linguistics textbook like this one).
  3. If you just think languages are cool for intellectual or aesthetic reasons, then ILoveLanguages, NativLang, Langfocus, Watch your Language, and the Lexicon Valley podcast may be of interest to you.

Also if you want to learn Latin or Ancient Greek check out ScorpioMartianus and if you want song covers in obscure dead languages then check out the_miracle_aligner.

I don't have much to say about the rest of your post, but Xiaomannyc is one of those Internet Polyglots that purports to have super language abilities and regularly makes videos "shocking" natives with his knowledge of their little-known language. It's safe to say these types don't really bring anything useful to the table. Learning languages is a game of dedication, not speeding through things in 24 hours and impressing everyone. At least his Chinese sounds like it's good, though.

I mean, some people's language learning goals really are "achieve a phrasebook level in 20 languages to receive social validation" rather than mastering any given language, and aside from that I think it's worth seeing how even quite a low level can get you through some basic interactions and make people much friendlier to you.

I minored in Linguistics and one of the introductory classes used an older edition of this book: https://www.amazon.com/Language-Files-Materials-Introduction-Linguistics/dp/0814252702

It's a pretty good place to get started and then figure out what topics interest you the most. For example, historical linguistics was the most interesting to me and it was fun to use it to make up fantasy languages that sound realistic (Because it's just a real language with some common deletions and vowel shifts.)

The best way to sow the seeds of a casual interest in linguistics is to amble through Wikipedia articles on various languages. Read their sections on phonology and grammar, and when you don’t understand something (e.g. if you’re unfamiliar with the IPA, or you don’t know what a “dative case” is), then skim the appropriate Wikipedia article. Also, reading about Proto-Indo-European is fun: it’ll teach you a bit about comparative linguistics while instilling a sense of awe that universally-spoken modern-day languages still bear the unmistakable genes of their prehistoric ancestors.

Why do you want to get into linguistics? Learning a language is the applied version of it, but the higher level stuff doesn't seem that useful to me.

the higher level stuff doesn’t seem that useful to me.

Sex isn’t very useful either most of the time, but that doesn’t diminish the appeal.

If practical_romantic's reason for wanting to get into linguistics is that linguistics is as compelling as sex, that would be a good reason.

Insert standard “cunning linguist” joke here.

But that wouldn't involve inserting, surely. I suppose it depends on one's er, style.

What, you mean you don't insert?

There's insertion and then there's insertion.

I was pleasantly surprised recently. I was holding my phone in my hand, looking at something and my ma put her hand around my upper arm as I was walking her back to the car outside the gate, she was quite happy to notice some muscle mass on my frame, to the point where she could feel some bicep lol. She instantly said that she was happy as her perception of me was that of a thin guy who was somewhere between a man and a woman lol.

I have been going for nearly 4 months now, and have not seen noticeable changes at all but I will keep going forever and dial in things as I go instead of stopping and restarting. My vests (the stuff jockey makes) don't fit me since I likely gained some mass around my chest and back. The shirts still fit but a little tighter. Long way to go, dialing in my sleep, diet and meditation would help a lot but I will keep going even when they are less than ideal.

Have a fun week!

ps do lemme know if anyone here is good with focusing, the thing Eugene Gendlin worked on.

That’s why lifting forums all recommend progress photos! It’s difficult to notice changes in your own body but you are surely getting there and other people do notice :)

My mom once said I was "so hot."

I have mixed feelings about that.

It talks about any scale of problem up there. In every scale nothing will ever get better, and most things will get radically worse. From balding to the coordinated destruction of the disfavored demographics and the human civilization as a whole through wokeness, all scales of problems are inescapable.

What is the "it" here? Maybe you made a top level comment instead of a reply?