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Oppositional Identities

So, everyone's got an identity. What you think you are, what you identify with, how you'd describe yourself.

This identity thing is a big deal in terms of how you see the world. If there's a clash between the world and your identity, you'll probably favor your identity over the world.

That's... not good, but it's almost everyone. A few people seem to dissolve their identity, or base it around a rather robust principle (like truth, in the pure abstract unfiltered form) - but that's incredibly rare.

So okay, you've got an identity, it affects how you react to the world, and if the world and your identity comes into conflict, your identity is probably going to win. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it's how things are.

Given that, it's really important to not have an "oppositional identity" - that's where you define a big part of who you are as what you're against.

Two Kinds of Time

It's critical to distinguish between calendar time and labor time.

For instance, getting a visa to a different country might only take you 1.5 hours of labor time (fill out the documents, go to the consulate, wait in line, go back and pick it up later) -- but it might also take five days of calendar time, meaning you have to start five days before you need it.

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