HUBRIS: 11 October 2020

Welcome to HUBRIS: 11 October 2020 edition, the weekly newsletter where in my foolish self-confidence I believe I’ve written things worth reading.


When we first moved to Finland, I had no idea how bad the winters were going to be. With that in mind, I stocked up the pantry to extreme levels. If we couldn’t get out, we wouldn’t starve. Heading into our seventh winter, I now know that the infrastructure is top-notch, everything is plowed and graveled, and nothing shuts down for bad weather.

At the start of the pandemic, I stocked up for the apocalypse. I wanted to limit our exposure as much as possible. Several months later, and Finland’s infection rate remains one of the lowest in the world. The pandemic response wasn’t perfect, but it was better than at least one other country I could name.

Katie and I have decided to walk to the grocery store three times a week, rather than two. We’re doing this to get more exercise in. It’s automatically less stressful, because if I leave something off the list, I’ll get it when we visit the store again in a couple of days.

I am letting go of the notion that I need to stockpile food. There is no need to live like a doomsday prepper. Should civilization fall, we will have larger concerns than how much coffee and rice I’ve got on hand. I’m only shopping a few days ahead. There will be a reasonable amount of staples, so if I can’t or don’t want to go to the store for a few days we’ll get by.


I run a small press tabletop roleplaying company as my day job. On that site I write about why I created each of the product lines I publish, and what inspired them. Increasingly I’ve been writing more about my philosophy of publishing and operating a creativity-anchored business. So much so that going into 2021 I’ve got that blocked out as a separate product line, even though it’s content I’m giving away for free.

This might sound strange on the surface, but I need to talk about the philosophy behind my business for the same reason I feel compelled to talk about being a spoonie. There’s a stigma that needs to be erased. People feel that if you’re not doing things in a certain way, you’re doing it wrong. You can’t be successful unless you do things the way they’ve always been done. I need to show people that’s just not true, and I am the proof.

That content will stay over there, but it’s still driven by my “simplify, create, thrive” philosophy. Stripping processes down to their basic functions, and going minimalist across the board, allows me to create quickly and run the business profitably. The business is, after all, an extension of me. I’m just writing from a different perspective, with a different audience, than I am here.


Walking to the grocery store three times a week, as noted earlier, agrees with me. In fact, since the extra trip reduced the amount of groceries per trip smaller, I can periodically walk both ways. That happened this week when Katie was away at a conference. It was lovely. Good cardio on the hills.

Extremely limiting the news, spending less time in front of screens, and reading more has also been amazing. Not being an internet native, I remember life without a device that connects you to the world 24/7/365. Constant connectivity has to be bad for you.

Even though no one is reading them, I’m enjoying writing little rants inspired by the books I’ve been reading. Fiction Friday is going to continue. I know I’ve been writing about non-fiction the past couple of weeks, but I’m trying to savor the Booker Prize shortlist novels. Next up, I think, will be This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga.

Because this is October, Katie and I are having scary movie nights. We’re working through the original Universal monster pictures — Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and so on. That’s pretty much my screen time for the month, aside from the joyful palate cleanser that is All Elite Wrestling.

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HUBRIS: 11 October 2020

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About Simplify – Create – Thrive

This blog is dedicated to one basic principle: if you can simplify your life and dedicate time to create things, you will be able to thrive and find the health and happiness you seek.

About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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3 Replies to “HUBRIS: 11 October 2020

  1. I liked the Universal originals – ‘Bride was my favourite. But my addiction is 1950’s scifi – I own many of them. I prefer This Island Earth over Forbidden Planet – probably the engineer in me.

    1. Bride is objectively the best. James Whale for the win. The Mexican version of Dracula, shot concurrently with the Lugosi version using the same sets but different actors, is a close second.

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