Washoe Lake

Washoe Lake is the largest I can remember seeing it. The Washoe Lake is a Nevadan lake, in the Washoe Valley, three miles north of Carson City and twenty miles south of Reno. I see it daily. I drive past it on my way to work in Reno and on my way home in Carson City. This winter has been the wettest in recent memory, feeding the lake in ways I forgot it could. It’s unnerving to see Washoe Lake look like a lake. For years, I’ve always felt the term, ‘lake’, was to strong a name for this body of water. Most years I can wade through the deepest portions of “the lake” without wetting my hair. In a drought, there are times I can walk through it without muddying my shoes. A barren and dry flat.

Northern Nevada has been in a drought for six years.

In those years I had I hated my work, feared my future, and shunned myself for my own perceived sloth. I worked as an engineer and I would spend my time staring at a computer, wishing I could be anywhere else, daydreaming instead of working. Continuing the job presented two equally terrifying options. The first was termination for not completing my work. The second was staying at the job but spending my life hating what I did. What hurt the most was that I knew if I could just quit daydreaming and work all my problems could be solved. If only I could focus. I couldn’t. I knew I had ADHD and it caused me issues earlier in my past. At work I felt the need to overcome my condition. I quit my Adderal prescription because I was an adult. So I struggled and I failed I then quit to try new jobs. and I failed. I reached a low. I felt as empty and desolate as Washoe Lake.

Washoe Lake wasn’t filled in a day or a season.

The lake’s volume isn’t the result of a single event, It is the result of a steady accumulation of rain and snow. Two winters ago provided decent water to the Washoe Valley, not enough to end the drought. But just enough to keep the lake from drying out. Then came this winter. The wettest winter I can remember. 53′ of snow in the mountains. multiple downpours of rain or snow in the valley. tremendous amounts. Water fell and flowed into the lake. The Lake now sits and swells besides the highway I drive on. It threatens to consume the lake if it gets any bigger. Future forecasts predict it will get bigger, though there is no threat of engulfing the high way.

It’s beautiful to see the lake fulfill its potential

The lake reminds me of my own joy. In the last year I have sought help through a therapist, returning to Adderal and beginning a job I love. I was able to understand where my frustrations and fears came from. I was able to again focus on my present. and I now work as a Substitute Teacher. I feel that I am in an environment I can thrive in. I drive past Washoe Lake and marvel at its beauty, reminded that a dry field can easily become a magnificent lake.

I then think about how one bad drought will empty Washoe.

Washoe Lake is a “temporary lake”, or a lake that naturally forms and disappears resulting on precipitation. I know the lake has been this full before and I know that the lake has been barren many times before last drought. This fact creeps in my head when I gaze at Washoe Lake. Reminding me that its beauty is temporary. The intrusive thought diminishes my enjoyment.

It is the same with my life.

My happiness is always invaded with doubt. “What will I do when I get bored?” “You will quit like you have everything else.” “Don’t enjoy what you’re doing. It will be taken away.” I try to ignore these thoughts, but they always return. I don’t think I will ever be completely without doubt.

My life, like Washoe Lake, will have emptiness and abundance. When I’m empty I need to know I will fill again. When I am full I need to enjoy it.

Thanks for reading



Prediction: a statement about what will happen or might happen in the future


I define prediction as ‘prediction: an expectation of future events’

In this post I will be making predictions for my self and sociaty at large. I will make predictions for one, five, ten, and fifty years.

Predictions for March 24th, 2018

  • I will have my temporary teaching license.
  • I believe the US will be in military conflict larger than we find ourselves today
  • There will be an american recession
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be an amazing movie

Predictions for March 24th, 2022

  • I will be a full time teacher
  • America will be recovering from the recesion
  • America will be more devided now than it is.
  • The current refugee crises will increase
  • American government will have shifted to the hard left.

Predictions for March 24th, 2027

  • Refugee Crisis continues.
  • Climate change will be fully felt by people
  • Large portions of american society will refuse to acknowledge human involvement in climate change
  • I am still a teacher.
  • Sustainable energy will be cheap and effective.
  • Human lands on Mars.

Predictions for March 24th, 2067

  • Humans begin small colonization efforts on mars.
  • Climate change increases greatly
  • Humans find effect means of coping with climate change.
  • I will have retired.


Opinions On Society

  • A successful society is one which there is both respect for all members in society and one which can sustain itself into the far future.
    • If all members are happy with a monarchy, theocracy, republic or anarchy, that society is well off.
    • A monarchy may treat all members of society well, but can change at anytime with a new ruler.
    • Theocracy may care for the its poorest members, but when a new religion grows, members of the new society will then be oppressed.
    • A republic reprents and cares for the majority, but in a society lacking empathy, the minoraty will suffer.
    • Anarchy would work well if all members in that society were empathetic, but if a group of unempathetic individuals were to gather power, the minority may oppress the majority.
    • (note. I am not commenting on the merrits of any system, simply identifies potential short comings.)
  • A successful society is unsuccessful when any member

Opinion on Personal Conduct

Personal Conduct

Up to this point I have worked to define what are my beliefs and principles. I have defined what I think an opinion is. Now I will begin defining what how I think I should act. By putting these opinion on page I can analize how my opinions of a good life match with my beliefs. I will also better understand if I am living in accordance with my identified beliefs and principles.

As I write out my opinions on personal conduct I will place goals I do not meet. I will understand that failing to meet these goals does not make me a better person. By writing these goals I can find where I can improve in my life or what goals I need to remove.

Ben’s Rules of Conduct

  • I can only control my own actions
  • I can help others, but can not fix them.
  • I must work for the future.
  • I will not hate myself
  • I will not hate others
  • I will not attach my self worth to others opinions
  • I will try to understand my self and others
  • I will be the change I want to see in the world.
  • I will understand my ADHD brain.
  • I will with my ADHD, not around it.
  • I will not hate myself when i fail.
  • I should treat my body well, It is my only one.
  • I should accept the past
  • I should enjoy the present.
  • I should improve the future

These are the goals for my life. I often feel I fail more than I succeed but must understand that I failure is temporary. I am thankful to have these goals written out. I always know when I fail, but now that my goals are on paper I can quicker understand where I can improve.

Thank you for reading.















Type 3 Beliefs: Opinions, Part 1


To begin understanding my beliefs and opinions it is useful to first define what an opinion

a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
 If I were to define opinion in my own words it would be “Opinions: A specific belief that is extrapolated from ones firm beliefs and principles. An opinion is a belief made into a goal.”
Before I begin defining my opinions I will need to understand my beliefs on opinions, or Meta-Opinion


It is difficult to put into words the diffrence between opinion and belief. below I will try and illustrate the example through example

  • Belief: I believe that opossite colors, such as orange and blue, pair well together
  • Opinion: That orange and blue shirt is cool

The belief is a statement about how I feel about color pairing. The Opinion is the result my belief informing my perception of the world.

My Meta-Opinions

  • Opinions are reflections of beliefs and opinions.
  • Opinions are specific
  • There is no distinct line between belief and opinion.
  • All opinions are beliefs but not all beliefs are opinions.
  • An opinion is formed from anecdotal evidence.
  • All opinions deserve understanding, no opinion deserves respect.
  • It is difficult to persuade anyone with opinions alone.
  • It is important for me to understand what informs my opinions.
  • My Opinions can be changed without changing my beliefs.

I find differentiating opinions from beliefs a difficult task. I hope that as I further define my opinions I can better differentiate belief from opinion and better understand my beliefs and principles.

In my future posts I plan to discuss two types of opinons: Opions on how I should act and Opinion on how society should act.

Thank you for reading.


Perception, Part 2

Perception: Supersenses, and Explanatory

My last post focused on defining perception and my beliefs on Cognitive Bias and Senses.

This post will go into detail on my beliefs on supersenses, and explanatory senses.

Thank you for your time.

Belief on Supersenses

spiritual and supernatural.

Buster Benson

I define Supersenses as ‘Supersenses – Beliefs and observations of things beyond the physical world

My Beliefs

  • God and/or gods may or may not exist
  • If there is a God, It may or may not be beyond the scope of human understanding.
  • If there is a conscious God and it desires my love, its gods responsibility to make itself known and earn my love
  • Belief in God is likely due to human pattern recognition.
  • Absolute Morality does not exist
  • I am uncertain of the existence of a soul.
  • When I use ‘soul’ in a sentence I mean “the part of the person which feels”.
  • A religion not followed literally is philosophy.
  • Religion and spiritualism are not needed for empathy.
  • Eternal consciousness sounds terrifying.
  • I wish I could be religious, but I know I am too stupid to ever get it right.

This is confusing topic for me. I grew up very religious and do miss the religious community. In the future I will go further in depth on my perceptions of religion


Beliefs on Explanatory Senses

Serving to explain


Though for the sake of the a Codex Vitae I will use the following definition

Science, politics, and the universe.

Buster Benson

I find Benson’s definition to be fine enough.

My Beliefs

  • The universe exists
  • The Universe is indifferent to me and all humanity.
  • Other life exists, though there is no reason to believe they have contacted humanity.
  •  Humanity must leave earth if we are to survive into the future.
  • I cannot prove most scientific theories.
  • I choose to accept scientific consensus as truth.
  • Human caused climate change is real. It is likely the greatest threat humanity faces as a species.
  • Evolution happened.
  • Any political system can succeed so long as all agree with it.
  • Sustainable political change requires sociate to adopt a unified philosophy
  • Government should only regulate interpersonal action, never personal action
  • Vaccines are good.
  • Automation of all work is inevitable, a universal basic income is necessary.
  • Scientific facts should not be thought of as objective truths, but as effective tools for predicting future actions.

These beliefs I find to be the most uncertain of all beliefs written so far. Few of these beliefs can be observed or tested by myself. They must rely on experts who spend decades studying these topics. My goal is to maintain a reasonable amount of focus on these beliefs. I don’t believe i will ever have the time nor desire to become an expert on a majoraty of these topics.

Type 2 Belief: Perception, Part 1


The act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.


My definition of perception: The mind’s attempt of interpreting its sensory inputs to form a useful model of the world in which one can impose its will.

Buster Benson finds that there are 5 types of perception: Cognitive Bias, Senses, Supersenses, explanatory and self.

Beliefs on Cognitive Bias

A cognitive bias refers to the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion

Haselton, M. G.; Nettle, D. & Andrews, P. W. (2005).

To define cognitive bias in my own words, I would say ‘Cognitive bias: the mind’s natural inclination to interpret events in a manner independent of reality’

My Beliefs

  • It is effectively impossible to distinguish between a natural world and a Matrix-type simulation
  • It is convenient to assume the human perception is an honest, though heavily-skewed, interpretation of space-time.
  • Our senses were selected to provide ancient human the best chances of survival
  • My senses are not the best method for observation.
  • Human memory is inaccurate. The past we remember is a drawing, remade with each recollection.
  • Pattern recognition was developed in early humans to survive. It now drives humans to look for structure and order, even where none exist.
  • When presented the choice between familiarity or change, I am inclined to choose familiarity.

Beliefs on Senses

any of the faculties, as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body


I describe senses as ‘Senses: mental inputs used that place which provide means of understanding ones physical surrounding.

My Beliefs

  • The five basic senses are a few of many
  • If a tree falls in the forest it does not make a sound. It causes vibrations in the surrounding medium. Those vibrations shake our eardrums and the mind interprets that as what we know as sound. Same with taste, smell, and external feeling (touch, hot, cold).
  • Personal feeling (pain, heart burn, sickness, intoxication) is the most true sensation. Other senses are easily confused with fact. Its easy for me to understand that a broken foot or a good buzz is a creation of my mind.
  • I am an island, I have no access to events or other people beyond conventional communication.


Beliefs on the Supernatural

  • God and/or gods may or may not exist
  • If there is a God, It may or may not be beyond the scope of human understanding.
  • If God does exist and loves us, it’s on It to prove it to me.
  • Belief in God is likely due to human pattern recognition.
  • Human instincts are defined by both culture and primitive human genetics.
  • Absolute Morals do not exist
  • I am uncertian of the existence of a soul.
  • When I use ‘soul’ in a sentence I mean “the part of the person that feels”.

Beliefs on the Time-Space


My Principles

To understand what my beliefs are, I must first understand what informs my beliefs. To do this I must define what my principles are

Principles vs Beliefs

When starting this section I first though principles were simply firmly held beliefs. Though looking further into it I have found that I was wrong. Where I belief a is

Belief: Concepts or ideas that one accepts as true in order to understand and/or impose will on the world.


I found the definition to be following

Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.


or as I would describe as: ‘Principle – The foundation which informs the formation of belief. A belief that is fundamental to ones identity.’

To identify and put into words every belief is an impossible task. some principles are so engrained I don’t believe I will understand how impactful it is to me. With that said, I will try to articulate the more shallow and identifiable principles I have:

My Principles

  • Every conscious action is made because the actor believes it is the right action.
  • Free will is an illusion, but because the future is unknown, I choose to believe in free will
  • If things (the present) could be different, they would be.
  • This existence is the only one I expect to know
  • Do not do unto others as you would have them not do unto you
  • If I wish to help, I must first make sure my help is better than inaction.
  • My identity is determined by both environment and genetics.
  • Selfish actions are okay, but I must understand helping others is the most efficient way to help myself

These principles are broad statements that each deserve pages of further definition and articulation. I upon further analysis I believe that I may find these statements are better defined as beliefs, not principles.

Thank you for reading.





To understand my beliefs I must understand my opinion on beliefs. These ‘beliefs of beliefs’ are called meta-beliefs.

To first understand my meta-beliefs, I first in need to find a definition of belief that resonates with me. My favorite definition is found below.

Belief: Something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion

Merriam-Webster Definition

If I were to rephrase the definition into a phrase more encompassing of my beliefs it would be as followed;

Belief: Concepts or ideas that one accepts as true in order to  understand and/or impose will on the world.


Beliefs on beliefs

  • When I observe the world my beliefs are what help me understand it.
  • When I believe something, I am driven to act. (inaction is an action)
  • My emotions are dependent on how both my situation and actions are aligned with my personal beliefs.
  • All beliefs deserve understanding; no belief deserves respect
  • If I believe someone’s beliefs are incorrect, I cannot disregard their other beliefs.
  • It is not wrong to have contradictory beliefs.
  • I should always challenge my beliefs
  • I should only share my beliefs if I understand and accept potential consequences of expressing my belief.
  • Beliefs are tools
  • The strength of my belief changes depending on my environment
  • My beliefs are the result of both my environment and genetics.
  • I should never hate someone for their beliefs. They too are the result of environment and genetics.
  • Oppressive beliefs can not be tolerated (I must not hate one for their oppressive believes, but I must prevent the intolerance from spreading).

Beliefs are complicated contradicting ideas. In time I hope to examine each bullet point so I may best understand myself. Each point I made are broad statements which need clarification.

Thank you for reading.


How to Use This Codex

If you are Ben:

Goals from Template 

  • Develop a habit of using the Codex as a repository for beliefs that develop throughout the year
  • Consider doing a monthly review of whether my life is in alignment with values and beliefs. If not, should my behavior change or have my understanding and values changed?
  • Do a yearly review in January of the entire document, editing places where beliefs have changed. expect beliefs and tactics to change – don’t hold on to them to ridgedly

Goals from Myself

  • To better understand where my beliefs originate. do I believe what I do because of society, family, friends, or media

If you are not Ben

Goals from Template

  • Read this with the understanding that you are different from Ben – the way he lives his life is not the way you should live yours.
  • Consider creating your own Codex Vitae. Feel free to copy anything here that is helpful.