HUBRIS 2 May 2021

This is the Hubris: 2 May 2021 edition. Let’s talk about spending more time unplugged, parasocial relationships, and focusing on having the life we want.

HUBRIS 2 May 2021

This past week I’ve been training for a more unplugged life. We still have internet in the apartment, but I’m consciously trying to limit the amount of time I spend. I write down the things I need to do online, and try to batch tasks once or twice a day. Instead of using streaming services, I download podcasts in the morning and supplement those with music I have on my hard drive. So far it’s been enjoyable. Fewer distractions, more flow states, greater productivity.

Project Updates

Nothing to say here. A lot of things in motion, but nothing final enough to reliably report on. Still working on things, but still not settled into new studio space. There’s probably going to be a fat lot of nothing to say for the next several week, then KABLAM a ton of stuff all at once. Such is life.

UNQUALIFIED Episode 5: Parasocial Relationships

On UNQUALIFIED Episode 5 I talk about parasocial relationships. What they are, why they make my teeth itch, and how we need to be aware of them in the modern world. Now more than ever people need to understand what parasocial relationships are, so we can separate art from artist, not take things personally, and stop defending the monsters among us. Listen now on Patreon!

In Case You Missed It

HUBRIS 2 May 2021

HUBRIS 25 April 2021

This is the Hubris: 25 April 2021 edition. I’ve got a lot of updates to cover this week, so let’s just jump into it!

Unintentional Daily Blogging

A notification popped up on WordPress telling me that I’m on a twentysomething-day streak. Meaning that I’ve accidentally gone back to daily blogging. This was not my intention. I’ve been reading voraciously lately. When I read I take notes, especially when a quote or idea inspires me or gives me food for thought. I’ve learned to write down what it was that I found interesting, how it connects with me, and how it links up to other thoughts and ideas. Otherwise, I read it later and have no idea what the quote meant, and have no context to figure it out.

Because of my arthritis it’s easier to type notes than write them longhand. I have a file for these things. In looking at recent notes, I frequently find myself thinking that this-or-that would make a good blog post. The ideas could be useful or interesting to other people. So I began to enter things directly into Twitter as drafts, to be cleaned up and scheduled later. I use the calendar and only put one idea down per day. Pretty soon the calendar started filling up, so I went through, cleaned up the drafts, and scheduled them. I read more, I take more notes, I set up more drafts, and pretty soon I’m accidentally blogging again.

Meanwhile, on the Podcast

In UNQUALIFIED Episode 4 I talk about the importance of knowing the problem that you’re solving for. Make sure you’re trying to fix the thing that’s actually broken. I tell you about an incident that cemented this idea in my consciousness, and why it’s important to ask WHY at least 5 times in order to get to the root cause of any issue. Listen now on Patreon!

New Studio (fka Project Mushroom) Update

I’ve previously written that I’m not going to say any more about Project Mushroom until launch. Which, since I’ve revealed that we’re looking for new studio space, means not writing about it until we’re actually in said space. It’s all a lot more exciting to Katie and I than it is to anyone else, and I don’t want to bore you.

However, since this is the newsletter, and since people have asked a few questions, I’ll talk about it here one last time. We are in the process of decluttering our current space so there will be less to move. Currently we have not closed on a new space, so we have no idea when we’re moving, we just want to be ready.

A few people have asked me to decipher the code name for them. I give all of my projects code names based on their topic. They always start with the same first letter as the topic, and have the same number of syllables. I started doing this for writing projects when I either did not have a title, or was waiting for copyright clearance on a title. Files need to be names something. Other projects require some degree of secrecy or are under non-disclosure agreements. Over time it became easier to keep the convention even when the title was assured and there were no cloak-and-dagger antics required.

In this case, MUSHROOM was a stand-in for MOVING.

Project Acorn Update

Quietly, in between reading and note-taking and searching for new studio space, I continue to work on Project Acorn. A substantial part of it can’t be completed until after we move, so there’s nothing to report. I’m doing all of the behind-the-scenes stuff now, so that I can reveal what it is as soon after the move as possible. That’s about it. Nothing new to report, in other words.

HUBRIS 25 April 2021

And in case you missed it:

HUBRIS 18 April 2021

I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like no one’s reading my stuff. So no one would even notice if I skipped writing the newsletter this week, right? Don’t mind me, I’m exhausted at the moment. Anyway, this is the Hubris 18 April 2021 edition.

Why I Became Minimalist

There’s a new episode of the podcast up. I talk about some of the steps on my journey toward becoming minimalist. There is no clear origin story for me, just a who series of events over the course of my life that have consistently pointed me in this direction. You can listen for free, or choose to become a patron and support the cause.


This is pretty much the only thing I’m working on at the moment. It’s the only thing I can work on until Project Mushroom is over, aside from Project Mushroom itself. As such, it’s on track. At some point I will reach a point where I’ve done everything I can until we’re in the new studio space, so…

Project Mushroom Update

We’re currently in a holding pattern, waiting for some things to happen. If I could fast-forward a few months to a point where we’re already moved and settled in, I would. Too many things are jammed up until we get the new studio. The sort of space we’re able to get will affect the types of projects we’ll be able to do, so at this point I can’t even do a lot of planning. Ugh.

I Have a Headache

All of the above is why I launched the podcast early. Even though the sound quality will be better in a new space, I have time on my hands. Everything right now is “hurry up and wait”. I am not a person that does downtime well. It gives my anxiety a change to take hold and do bad things. So I’m staying busy, doing a lot of writing, and making various versions of plans so no matter what happens with Project Mushroom, I’ll be prepared to move forward and continue to grow the business.

HUBRIS 18 April 2021

HUBRIS 11 April 2021: Check Out My Podcast!

This is Hubris: 11 April 2021 Edition, the newsletter where I think I’ve written something worth reading. Today I want to talk about the new podcast, and give you some updates on other projects!

unqualified with berin kinsman

UNQUALIFIED is a podcast about minimalism, defiance, and inner peace. The first two episodes are out now! In the first episode I explain what I’m trying to express by doing this podcast. The second episode explores why minimalists have so much to say about such a seemingly simple concept.

For the moment the show is exclusively on Patreon, but you can listen to the first to episodes for FREE without having to become a patron. There are 4 additional episodes already recorded and scheduled, with more on the way.

Project Mushroom Update

The search for new studio space is in a holding pattern right now. I expect to get some news in the coming week, so that we can move forward. Things like the podcast will be a lot easier to produce, and sound better, when we have a dedicated space to do it. I moved ahead with launching it this week because the timeline on this can’t be nailed down. If I put everything into a holding pattern until certain things are resolved, I could be sitting idle for months.

For the moment, I’m focusing on decluttering and organizing. We’re going to be moving at some point. Things need to be sold off, given away, recycled, or thrown out prior to the move, so I might as well do it now. I’m trying to use the waiting time to get as prepared as possible. It also isn’t a bad idea to pare things down anyway. Most people would think I own next to nothing, but I think I own way too much crap.

Project Acorn Update

A strategic partner just threw another curveball at me this week, in the form of updated specifications. Fortunately I hadn’t gotten to the thing that needs to be done differently yet. It’s not a matter of having to do things over, it’s just having to alter the plans a little bit.

While there are some portions of this project that can’t be completed until we’re in the new studio space, there’s a lot that can be done. I’m trying to get as much, if not all, of that done ahead of time. Then once we’re in the new space, I can immediately begin to leverage it.

In Case You Missed It

HUBRIS 11 April 2021

HUBRIS 4 April 2021: Minimalism and Big Ideas

This is Hubris: 4 April 2021 Edition, the newsletter where I think I’ve written something worth reading. Today I want to talk about minimalism and big ideas. I also want provide some project updates!

Minimalism and Big Ideas

This week I made one big change to my life. I stopped working in after dinner. Now I have made the commitment to spend my evenings reading. No screens, no music, just a quiet room and a book in my hand. I’ve started a new category here on the site, Ideas, where I will be periodically posting quotes from whatever book I’m currently reading, along with my thoughts about it.

The books I’m reading have been sorted into two stacks. One I’m calling Minimalism, even if the authors and publishers don’t consider the books to be such. These books have ideas and concepts that are in alignment with simple living. It includes titles like Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs, and Mel Robbins’ The 5 Second Rule.

The other I’m simply calling Humanity, because it spans everything from behavioral science to analyses of popular culture. They’re all books about where we are as a society, how we got here, and where we’re likely headed. This stack includes things like Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Charlie LeDuff’s Sh*tshow: The Country’s Collapsing… and the Ratings Are Great, and The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss and Neil Howe.

Projects Projects Projects

Other than that, everything has been centered on the three big projects I have going on right now. All of them are actually buckets of related projects, rather than one distinct things. The distinctions center on the end goal of each project, so there are three large objectives that I’m trying to achieve. That’s the easiest way for me to explain it. Boiling it down to three projects, rather than a lot of little projects with dozens of moving parts, is the only way for me to keep things straight in my head. It’s a lot less overwhelming.

Project Mushroom Update

Partial Reveal: Project Mushroom has to do with Katie and I finding new studio space. We both need a better arrangement in order to grow our respective businesses. It’s far more complicated than that, and there are a lot of moving parts, but that’s the basic gist of things. As for why we need the space, that still needs to remain under wraps for a while. We don’t want to set expectations when fulfilling them is contingent upon getting the studio.

Project Acorn Update

Partial Reveal: Project Acorn is a major initiative for my lo-fi publishing company, Dancing Lights Press. By the end of this year, I want to take the business to the next level. What that means, exactly, is something I want to wait to reveal until all of my ducks are in a row. Too many things are tenuous at the moment, and I want certain aspects to be finalized before blurting out what’s going on.

This, of course, has contingencies related to new studio space. That will not only impact what our capabilities are, but the timeline for settling into that space will affect the timeline of this project as well. That’s why I can’t commit to any exact dates; we don’t know when we’re going to move, or how long it will take us to get set up again in the new space.

Project Beauty Update

Partial Reveal: Project Beauty has to do with this site. There are a few interrelated projects in the works, all of which spin off from here. All of them are related to minimalism. I wanted to do a soft rollout this week, with the limited capabilities of my current workspace, but I needed to focus on Project Mushroom.

Again, a lot of this hinges on the new studio space. It impacts how I’ll be able to implement aspects of this project, and getting set up in the new studio space will affect the timeline for rollout.

In Case You Missed It