Satisfactory products are better for happiness

Hours of research, travel, and saving up, and you finally find the best product for you. Turns out, that is kind of a waste. Satisfactory products advantages over searching for the best products.

  1. They cost less.
    You need money to purchase your financial free and time, labor, location, and opinion independence.

  2. They are easier to replace.
    They cost less, for one. Additionally, they are more ubiquitous. If you need a cheap tote bag, almost any corner store has one. But if you want a particular luxury brand, you pretty much have to go to a boutique.

  3. They force you to find happiness elsewhere.
    Luxury products are nice and fun. They give you attention of other people. And that can feel good too. Unfortunately, lots of people depend on this path. In terms of using money effectively, it is purchasing depreciating goods instead of assets. It is something that is one and done and needs to be replaced. Purchasing satisfactory products allows you to find happiness elsewhere. Look for something that is inherent, that stays with you, that even adds value (time, money, experience) to your life.

  4. They cost less time.
    Less time to maintain. Less time to research. Less time to procure (available everywhere, less money). Some people will say, well I got this cheap thing and it breaks all the time, it would be better to have a better one. If you use it all the time, obviously yes. If you use it once a year...probably still worth it. Until you wore this cheap thing out, you also, may not have actually known.

  5. That said, there are times when better products help. That is typically when they increase functionality. If you are a professional, then typically, you get the tools that work best. Regardless. Oftentimes, at a certain level, the tools that are the best are not made and sold. The best tools sometimes come from hacks, from specialty made items, or solutions borrowed from other trades. These are special cases, where, essentially, the function of the product changes. If it is a piece of art, then consider it a piece of art. If it is an investment, consider it an investment. When products get in the way of function, when a product is a piece of art, or an investment, it might be a different case. But again, that is a use case.

Why do people get the best products? In general, because they think it will make them happier. When you really look at the reasons people give, they come back to that. Fortunately, we know that happiness is not actually tied to expensive material goods. Another reason could be they work. The needs of a professional carpenter are different from a home DIY person. The carpenter might have 4 different kinds of hammers. The home DIY person might use a hammer once every year.

For the most part, satisfactory products suffice. Pursuing satisfactory products frees up time, money, mental space, effort, and energy. People get nice products because they want to be happy. These resource can be better directed towards these ends. Good products matter and have certain qualities, but they do not make you happy.

How to best use money

Solve money problems. -> Which means that you can purchase your freedom of time.

I used to think, I just spent 8 hours at work, doing things I did not find interesting, for $200. Less after tax.

So like you change those factors, earn more, less time, do things that are more interesting.

Then like how do you solve the money problem?

What does money get you?

Money sitting somewhere is not really doing anything.

So like as a store of wealth.

Both sides, reduce expenses and grow income.

You have to approach it from both sides, restrict and reduce your expenses.
Not down to nothing, but down to the essential.
Basically stop wasting money (which represents time and energy).
Learn to get more for your money.

How do you earn money?

You can earn through business.
You can earn through a normal wage job.
Eventually, you earn through investment in actual assets.

You can park your money in things (collectibles -> you have to actually understand how collectibles work and the market) or a bank account.
Value is story. Branding is a promise that is regularly delivered, that is trust.

So again, what do you do with money?

Purchase the essentials: food, water, shelter
Purchase freedom of time: spend time with your loved ones, spend time in states of flow doing work that you like
Purchase tools of the trade: what you need to make money, or provide for the essentials

What is retirement?
Who cares? Arc towards more of the above.

What are the tools of the trade?

In any endeavor, you need inspiration, technical know how, knowledge from doing.

the highest calling

the highest calling

get or tap into that energy
use that energy to create art
create and maintain a system that allows this process to continue robustly

art - something you do. could be your daily work. but what you do. and you do in an self-expressive way. a beautiful way. does not have be traditionally what you think of it 'art' class.

important: not sure where to include this, but it is art for good. good life as defined elsewhere in the blog is positive, positive, positive. for yourself, for others, and immediately, and longterm. net triple positive.

live a good life. love. triple net positive.

the kid with a rock and a stick

consider the kid with a rock and a stick

they create games
engineering feats
act out plays
entertain their friends
kill something for food
explore a new area
tend to an animal
write stories in the sand
craft mansions in the wind
dance in joy

with a rock and a stick

and you're telling me you need a brand new gadget to be happy

using basic pathways of fun to design your life

Ideally, you experience positive and good emotional state and activites.

  • Positive is positive. pleasurable.
  • Good means good for yourself, now and in the future, and in your mental, physical, and spiritual health. and also good for society by the same metrics. net positive for everyone involved.

The concept of 'flow' comes to mind:

When the job presents clear goals, unambiguous feedback, a sense of control, challenges that match the worker's skills, and few distractions, the feelings it provides are not that different from what one experiences in a sport or an artistic performance. - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

That sentence is a summary of the entire book and concept of flow. However reading the book allows you to understand it and apply it 1) from examples and 2) from actually sitting with the thoughts. People always want a shortcut and to be told what to do. Things fast.

You can design a life around those concepts.

So then you need to figure out, well, other concepts to support.

Life has certain demands.

"What about money?" is basically a summation of those demands.

That question is actually a summary of multiple questions:

  • How are you going to feed yourself? Your loved ones? Your family?
  • Where are you going to sleep?
  • How do you stay safe? Is that something you can do long term?

You know the questions. They are basic on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

They basically are the questions of physical and mental health and well being. The concept of flow likely has connections with mental and spiritual well being.

Of course it does not cover it. Why? Because spiritual well being likely has to do with well basically aspects of Buddhism and an overlap of spiritual and mental well being.

But we can focus on the money first.

You can look into the FIRE movement. Basically you create a business or investments to generate income. Because those you do not have to trade money for time 1:1.

You amass money.

You decrease your costs of daily living.

At some point you can robustly provide for your monetary costs of daily living with lower involvement, robust income generated through business and or investments. Basically assets.

The other part is the social aspect, which is rarely covered, but alluded to. I should write a page on that.

Then the third part is, well, the aspect of flow mentioned earlier, which is an answer to "what are you going to do (with al that free time)?"

That's pretty much it.

How? What? and like well, why kinda. Because that is a good life.

But the thing is that you realize that you can and do live a good life far before that. In fact, I would argue that you actually have to live a good life in order to amass money in a good way.

And if you want to achieve FIRE.

Living a good life is really the goal. And you can live a good life before and after achieving FIRE.

So liek the nebulous social aspect comes into play there and the flow aspect comes into play as well.

The office could not order my pens anymore and it sent me into the depths of pen enthusiasts blogs – Benefit From My Research Spiral

The great pen search.

I am the kind of person that has spent two hours looking over an $8 pen purchase in a store. Obsessive in research, sometimes I get into things and it can progress to wasteful, and neurotic, and indecisive. The thing is, to me, it is fun. It is a search. It is self-discovery. Benefit from my research by having the best pens and getting on with living a full life.

The research

I recently went on a deep dive into pens. My office no longer stocked my pen of choice: zebra sarasa. Hours of youtube video reviews and hundreds of reddit posts later, I've compiled below the choice bits of knowledge from pen enthusiasts, idiots, and savants.

Ink mechanism

Ink comes in ballpoint, rollerball, or fountain. Generally those are on a scale from writes on everything to writes special things and correspondingly writes bumpy and jumpy to writes so smooth it is like you never touch the paper.

There are exceptions.

There are also hundreds, literally hundreds, of types and categories of ink (gel, water based, archival, colors, fast drying, the list is dizzying)

I like gel, rollerball pens. They offer the best writing experience (almost as smooth as a fountain) and without the main downside (fountain pens lose ink regularly). My fountain pen needs to be refilled regularly, because the ink evaporates.

If you want a quick recommendation: get a parker jotter, and when the catridge runs out, then get a gel refill. Now, go use your gear.

General Pen Division

I think people get into pens by thinking they need a fountain pen. I did. I left that anecdote out.

Pen general camps

So I will divide pen types into a few general camps:

  • The closest pen

  • nice office pens

  • refillable pens

  • ~$100 pens

  • beyond

  • The closest pen - pick anything up, the counter at the hotel, the stockist favorites.

  • Office pens - I think the standard here is interesting. What are the best pens you can find in a general office catalog? Just because a pen is cheap, does not mean they are in your office catalog. Here the winners are pilot G2, zebra sarasa, uniball vision elite, and energel pens. These are pens that you might just run into in your everyday life. If it is a choice between one of these and a random pen, go with one of these.

  • Refillable pens - the quickest recommendation is a parker jotter. a great looking, stainless steel pen, available in many colors, the biggest trick here is that you can get it in ballpoint and in gel. Other recommendations are the zebra F701 or a Lamy Safari with cartridges

  • Super pens - never thought I would be looking here. There is an absolute delight of riches here. Late stage capitalism at its finest. Furthermore, if you have not considered the refills that go into the pen bodies, the results are unweidly. They are dizzying. There are hundreds of refill catridges, there are hundreds of pens. There are so many materials.
    For me, Ti Scribe bolt copper in short or long if you like G2 gel refills, the embassy pen in brass if you like fisher refills, or the ti click / ti arto edc pen if you want something that takes anything possible. The tactile turn bolt pens are also on the list, as are karas kustoms if you want something more fun visually and colorful. Machine era designs also gets a fantastic mention.

  • Master and Commander - My personal rule on this site is to admit my ignorance. Fountain pens run deep and wide and have a storied history. They are more artistic watches. I might start looking at Montblanc, though I imagine that is akin to someone asking about watches and receiving the recommendation Rolex, or asking about cars and hearing to check out Mercedes. The huge caveat regarding fountain pens that no one mentions, and the reason that I do not use them anymore, is that the ink evaporates. So, I pick up my pen after two weeks of not using it, and there is no more ink.
    My $25 fountain pen recommendation: Lamy Safari - use cartridges. If you like, switch to a refill catridge. THen, you can buy your own ink.

  • Bonus: the pen of convenience - The pen of convenience is a pen you can have all the time, slipped in your pocket. It may not write the best, but it is always there, and it will write when you need it. The fisher space pen is a crowd favorite here. The form factor is tiny, it is sleek, it writes andywhere and on anything. Is it smooth? No, but it is there.


I like gel ink, rollerball, refillable pens.

Here are the pens I mentioned:

  • Pilot G2
  • Zebra sarasa
  • Uniball vision elite
  • Parker jotters - I want to try the quink gel refills
  • Fisher space pen
  • Ti Scribe bolt copper if you like G2 gel refills
  • Embassy pen in brass if you like fisher refills
  • Ti click / ti arto edc pen if you want something that takes anything possible
  • Tactile turn pens
  • Karas kustoms
  • Montblanc

Final choices

What will I actually get?
I am a big fan of what I have seen online from Tactile Turn. I am super interested in the Tactile Turn Bolt short in copper and titanium. I would like to compare that to the Tactile Turn Bolt regular length in titanium. I have never had a really heavy pen, but copper is the most compelling material for me. All of my favorite pens have been much lighter (0.5oz Parker Jotter, 0.6oz Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with converter cartridge, 0.2oz Zebra Sarasa).

I am also considering a Machine Era designs brass pen that fits the G2 cartridge.