Erik Torenberg

Paper Tigers

Wes Yang is one of the great chroniclers of how everything has changed in the past decade. This piece is before all that. It’s about him reconciling own alienation from his culture, and inquiring whether to adjust himself to the world or adjust the world to him.

Hunter S. Thompson’s Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life

Hunter S. Thompson tells a friend to make sure that whatever path he chooses, it is his own. 

"Circling" and nerd society

Curtis Yarvin is not known for his relationship advice, similar to how Ayn Rand is not known for writing love stories. But Atlas Shrugged is an underrated love story, and Curtis Yarvin gives underrated relationship advice.

The Opposite of Loneliness

Marina Keegan died in a tragic accident after penning this. I had a friend who also died our senior years of college who made me feel the opposite of loneliness. Her family created a great foundation in her name dedicated to suicide prevention training and funding depression research.

Wait for it, from Hamilton

“Death doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise and we fall and we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I'm willing to wait for it
I’m willing to wait for it”

An Appetizer: Purpose

David Chapman presents a path for truth-seekers who need to derive their values from first principles. TLDR: Be “enjoyably useful”

Intimations of a New Worldview

Brett Anderson tries to reconcile science and religion -- a modern day Robert Pirsig 

Bartender Ears

“It’s cool to try harder now, but what you choose to try harder at matters, and you should always also not give a fuck. It’s cool to try harder not to make any more shitty art, for example, which takes not giving a fuck about letting people see your shitty art along the way so that you can get their feedback and learn to make it better. It’s cool to try harder to love people who mean a lot to you, which takes not giving a fuck about…all of the other embarrassments that come with being known.”


The movie has it all: the feeling of being unable to love someone you love in the way that they want, forgiving someone trying their best even when they fall short, and family & best friends putting their pride aside and reuniting after temporarily losing their way.

Alain’s Comment

One way to make it easier to drop your grudges is to see how funny they look on other people. The ever wise Alain de Botton flips out on someone who negatively reviews his book: “I will hate you til the day and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you ever make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude.”

Louis CK and Marc Maron

Speaking of forgiveness, Louis CK and Marc Maron reconcile on-air and renew their decade long friendship.