The Kazushi

The Candid Imbalance of Dan Walsh

The MIT Lockpicking Guide

MIT_Lockpicking_Guide_Dan_Walsh

No door can stop you now!

I discovered the awesome “MIT Lockpicking Guide” a few months ago. I find it cumbersome to learn new manual skills while staring at a computer screen, so I pulled all of the content together into a book. It won’t win any design awards, but it should make learning how to pick locks a lot easier.

The disclaimer still stands:

“This is only intended for professional locksmiths and for educational purposes.”

Download the MIT Lockpicking Guide

 

*All credit to original authors and BlurOfInsanity.com for creating and posting the original content.

Inevitable Success

bay_bridge_inevitable_success

When success is easy.

I used to read over 60 books a year. That’s more than a book per week. It sounds like a monumental achievement but it wasn’t it. It was easy. I read everyday on my 30-minute bus ride to and from work. 30 minutes, twice a day, five days per week… Five hours is enough time to finish most books. Sometimes I’d even knock out two or three shorter books in a week. These averaged out my numbers for when I read longer books like Game of Thrones. It was easy it read this much. It felt inevitable.

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Completed 48-Hour Fast: Notes and Insights

sweet_potato_nachos

I went 48 hours without food and it wasn’t that hard.

My second attempt at a 48-hour fast was successful! It lasted from 8pm on August 17th to 8pm on August 19th. I changed a few things based on my first attempt which helped get me to the finish line. The biggest change was preventing boredom. I realized fasting is like long-distance running: 20% physical and 80% mental. I kept my mind busy so I couldn’t dwell on my hunger and talk myself into quitting.

This longer fast also had some interesting similarities to the sleep deprivation experiments I did in college. Mainly that fatigue and hunger come in waves. I could be optimistic and energetic one moment, and then lethargic and suffering 10 minutes later. Hunger would come and go, instead it hit a certain level and never got worse. Prior to these experiments I would have expected hunger to get progressively worse, but that wasn’t the case at all, even during the 48-hour fast.

So why am I doing this anyway? Read the rest of this entry »

Slay The Beast of Doubt

Where does doubt come from anyway?

I felt a heavy doubt last week. The efforts with which I was engaged weren’t working out how I envisioned. These might have only been short term hiccups, but I wondered about the future too. If I couldn’t get things to work now, how could I expect to get the larger, more complicated vision to work later? The future became muddled. And the harder it became to envision that success, the more doubt I felt. I wanted to slay this beast – the beast of doubt – and reclaim my clarity. But how? I don’t actually know what doubt is. How can I take up appropriate arms if I don’t know the beast? Is it scaled? Feathered? Does it creep, fly, swim, or run? Do I bait and trap or hunt it down on horseback like a fox?

If I wanted to resolve my doubts, I’d need to first discover the real nature of it.

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3 Ways Life Gets Jammed Up & How to Fix ‘Em

jammed-up

How I identify and resolve sticky situations.

I optimize for a living. I optimize at the office and I optimize at home. Marketing is optimization. Quantified health is optimization. I even optimize my commute to work and my wardrobe. Maybe I should say “I optimize for life.” It’s a primary lens through which I view the world. In a way everything becomes an optimization problem to me.

I’ve also started about a million-and-one personal projects that never worked out for some reason or another. Either they fizzled out or something got in the way. Maybe they just mysteriously never seemed to get anywhere. They didn’t fail, exactly, they just never really happened.

As a result of my constant eye toward optimization and junkyard of personal projects, I’ve developed a skill for identifying where things get jammed up. This includes projects at work, personal endeavors, goals, dreams, whatever. Unfailingly, when something gets stuck it falls into one of three categories: control, resource, or emotional.

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Know Thyself

30th-know-thyself
A self-assessment 30 years in the making.

I turned 30 this week.

I was expecting it to be a big deal. Mostly because it seems like it should be a big deal. Turning 30 is supposed to finally make you feel like you’re turning old – like you’re running out of time. 30 is when you finally realize your own mortality and do something crazy. Bah! I’m getting too old for that stuff.

Just kidding.

I think we all have different “trigger birthdays”. Mine were 19 and 27. I realized my own mortality at 19 and promptly jumped out of an airplane to compensate. I felt the unyielding march of time at 27 and finally opened a 401(k). Same thing, really.

My 27th birthday was also the year I had my existential crisis. I guess I was three years ahead of the curve. I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be in life, and I realized that I had been banking on my “potential” for far too long. At a certain age unrealized potential just becomes disappointment. I was at that age. I was happy, but I wasn’t the raging success I always pictured I would be – that rich guy I was somehow waiting to become.

I also realized that for a long time – maybe my whole life – I had been trying to prove myself to the world. The seed of that realization became the first post on this site. I didn’t want to operate like that anymore. So I stopped trying to define myself and started down a path to discover myself.

I made progress. It wasn’t always easy – unearthing the dark parts of one’s psyche can be disturbing – but I soldiered on. I tackled fears, and doubts, and insecurities along the way. I found a lot of good things too.

I reflected on my progress a year later when I turned 28. I had come far and it felt good. I could also feel 30 quickly approaching, but I welcomed it now. 30 would bring two more years of insights and self-discovery. I couldn’t wait to see who my 30-year-old self would be – to know what that person would know.

And now here I am. I’m 30. I am the future self I looked forward to knowing – to becoming.

Here’s what I know about myself now that I’m 30. Read the rest of this entry »

Future Notes

Save time and do your future self a favor by taking better notes.

I remember a day in 4th grade. While getting ready for school a big gob of foamy toothpaste fell on my clean shirt. I tried to wipe it off, but it did that disappearing-reappearing act that toothpaste does. I thought it was gone, then it came back an hour later after it dried. I walked around all day with a giant white spot on my purple little league soccer jersey.

I wasn’t embarrassed. I didn’t really care. I was a messy kid. I had messy hair and wore messy clothes. I liked sorting and counting too, but something about the chaos of mess was familiar to me. I was comfortable living in it. I remember that day specifically because it also turned out to be class picture day. My toothpaste gob is memorialized in photo albums around the country. Someone even uploaded it to Facebook, so I suppose you can say it went global.

No, this isn’t some kind of coming-of-age post. It’s a practical entry about taking useful notes. I used to be the most disorganized kid I knew. I relied on my memory to remember where things were and where they left off. This worked fine in 4th grade. It worked fine in college. It worked ok in the real world… and then one day it kind of stopped working all together.

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The 48-Hour Immortality Fast

Notes and observations from my starvation-induced attempt to regenerate stem cells.

Human longevity is a fascinating subject for me . Flipping death on his head seems like the most fundamental paradigm shift that could ever occur for humanity. Imagine how everyone would change if they had more time – infinite time. Some people see doom and gloom, but I see the end of one our most corrosive driving forces: the fear that we’re running out of time.

I’m always on the lookout for new studies that point towards longer life-spans and I found an incredible one last week: Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged Old Immune System. The study showed that fasting for 48+ plus hours triggers a regenerative process in mice that creates a fresh immune system. They’ve extended the fasting protocol to humans and found similar results. I’m kind of a diet hacker so this was right up my alley. I had to give it a try.

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Travel Siphon: Concepts & Design Iteration Process

siphon_concept

Final renders and key innovations in the siphon design process.

The concept and design work for the travel siphon is complete! It took about a week to find and hire the right contractor, but the extra homework paid off. After Bilal was on board he was able to turn my rough sketch and project brief into a fully realized product in less than a week.

We came up with some innovative solutions along the way.

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Satisfaction

daredevil

Surrender the day.

I have this picture of Daredevil as my phone background right now. It’s the cover to a comic book. He looks utterly exhausted, beat up… and satisfied. His mask is off and he’s relaxing in a chair. I imagine he’s listening to Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and revisiting the hardships and victories of the day. Maybe he had a major victory, like against an arch-villain, or maybe he just stopped a small time mugger. Either way, he looks content. Like he left it all on the table and the effort was worth it.

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