with CK


Exercising alternative usage creativity and leaning in to dissonant half-thoughts about integrative system vectors.

January 17, 2021

Practice Session #47

Welcome to my show notes for this week’s session of Practice!

We record these sessions every Sunday. I try to publish the audio on the same day of recording, but I may get delayed now and then due to various reasons.

Also, I will usually have the AI-generated transcript and my initial notes published on the same day of recording as well. On Fridays, I’ll (try to) go back through and proof the transcript while I add all of my notes.

I’ll be utilizing this opportunity to clarify and elaborate on points that I may not have conveyed as well as I would’ve liked to. I’ll also provide links to further information and resources.

So, on Friday, I’ll intersperse all my notes with the transcription from the audio below (unless I don’t 🤷).



CK: Check, check. Test, test.

Oh yeah…

Heyo! I’m CK, and you’re listening to Practice. I’m your functional systems integrator, and this is my podcast where practice is not just the theme of the show, but the whole purpose behind it. What started out as a practice of podcasting, as well as speaking in general, has evolved into a practice of self-coaching and self-reflection while espousing half-thoughts and providing unsolicited advice.

As always, I’m fortunate to be joined by my Practice partner and partner in life: Pam.

Pam: Hey, that’s me.

CK: Pam is also my pattern awareness manager, and every Sunday we reflect on the past week and my progress with this practice, along with other lifestyle practices, as well as theories and ideas behind the virtues of practice itself.

We’re doing this on the fly, so don’t hold me responsible for what I say here. Make sure to check out my show notes where I’ll provide some fact-checking, self-psychoanalysis and commentary on things I could have done better. You may find this and more information about this project at ForcesOfEqual.com/Practice.

Catch up with the Anomaly and the Linchpin.

CK: We’re recording today on January 17th, 2021.

And this is practice session number 47. And I’m going to give him a choice here, because I guess before I even you, I’m not even sure if I’m ready for this yet. Cause it’s all kind of came up. As I was thinking about this episode just before we’re getting started, but would you like me to introduce yet another new segment where we kind of start out our session here with a creative exercise or we can hold it off until next week.

Pam: I’m down for creative exercises.

CK: Okay. So what. We’re going to do here is each of us is going to maim an object. And the other person we’ll try to come up with things that you can use that object for or what other uses that that object could be used for. And it could be. Like typical use or creative use or just whatever you come up with.

And I think we should limit this exercise to say like 10 seconds. I know that’s not a lot of time, but we don’t want to keep this long and we just kind of want to get our minds firing. Like I’m already getting a little anxious as I’m describing this. Because it’s probably going to be pretty difficult and we might not come up with anything, but I mean, it’s an exercise.


Pam: It’s like the like Collin shows, like on the radio, you can call in and win something. If you can answer, like give five examples of, uh, Like a car make and manufacturer or something within 10 seconds and everybody blows it

CK: Yeah,

Pam: the time limit,

CK: Yeah, totally. So, because I’m kind of springing this on you. Do you want to come up with an object first for me? Terrific off of,

Pam: how, how hard do you want the object to be? Do you want me to go with something like.

CK: I mean, this is our first one, so let’s, I mean, let’s start off fairly simple. I mean, you can throw.

Pam: I’ll give you the first thing that go. The second

CK: Well, hold on before you say anything of where you’re going to say the object.

Pam: No, not yet. Not until you tell me too, I was going to say the first thing that came to mind when you told me the game was a pine tree, and then you started explaining the game and I was like, well, a pine tree is something that can technically be used for like literally anything made out of wood.

CK: right. But it’s still, I mean, in that sense, it’s still a good exercise within 10 seconds to come up with different things. So, yeah, I mean, that would have been fine in my mind. So this comes from something called the alternative uses test, or I’m not sure what, I’m sorry. I’m a little distracted.

Something’s rattling in the studio here. Can you hear it over there? Okay. I think the closet door is shaking a little bit,

Pam: her neighbors are probably gaming and

CK: yeah. Yeah. Let me see. Hold on one second. Let me see if I can fix this.

Pam: really entertaining radio here. So I apologize for this.

CK: Okay. What are you saying? Something.

Pam: I was just commenting about how this was really entertaining radio.

CK: Yeah, so, okay. I think that fixed it. Okay. So let’s see. Do you have a timer you can use?

Pam: I guess I’ve got a million clocks here. It,

CK: Yep. So we’ll do 10 seconds and I don’t know. Do we want to. Keep little notes of what we say or what we come up with,

Pam: Um, okay. Like,

CK: like jot down.

Pam: okay. I will try and jot down your ideas and time you at the same time.

CK: Okay. So yeah, whenever you’re ready. Oh my God. I’m so anxious now.

Pam: I don’t know how to set this up 10 seconds. I’m going to well, okay. So I’m going to set it to 13 so that I have time to give you the anther thing and then, okay. Ready?

CK: Yep.

Pam: Mason jar.

CK: Mason jar could be used as a cup as a percussion instrument as a. Step as, Oh, I was going to say like a foam roller kind of thing. Daily is it you’re

Pam: that’s the time, right? So you got cup, instrument and step

CK: Yeah. I’m not sure about stuff that was trying to

cuff was easy. Percussion. I mean, I could use anything as a percussion instrument, but. And what was my last one before or right after the bone. Oh, like a soft tissue massage thingy.

Pam: little sketchy.

CK: Okay. That was fun. I did a little better than I thought I would. Okay. So yeah, I’m not sure what. How, like, how are we going to evaluate this or even competing or whatnot, I guess we, yeah, we could just provide commentary or whatever we feel like at the moment. So are you ready?

Pam: Are you, are you running a timer for me or do I have to

CK: No, I’ll time you, and I’ll also take notes for you. You don’t have to do it. Okay. So let’s see.

I’m going to say a roll of duct tape.

Pam: Okay. A roll of duct tape could be used as a toy. It could be used as a doorstop. It could be used as a buffer behind the door. It could be used as a bracelet. It could.

CK: Wow. Doorstop pretty much anything

Pam: Yeah, I was actually, I don’t think it’s heavy enough to really be a good doorstop,

CK: Yeah, I guess it depends on the door. Although, I guess you could tape the door. So that was that. One’s an interesting one because. If you told me duct tape.

Pam: you would have used the tape itself.

CK: Yeah. I’m not sure like what I have used just like the object as it is, or actually use the object as you can use it. So,

Pam: a second to consider that. And then it was just like, Nope, no time for wandering. Just go with whatever comes to mind.

CK: Nice. Nice. Yeah. So I kind of threw a wrench in your object there, so yeah, that was fun. Do you have any commentary?

Pam: Uh, no, it was just terrible bracelet, but

CK: but it works.

Pam: you could,

CK: Yeah. All right. Well, that was fun. I don’t know if I’ve come up with a name for that segment yet, but I think that might be something fun we could do moving forward. Maybe I’ll come up with something else who knows. So let’s move on and I will recite the quote for this week. And I think I’ll do a little something different with this quote because there’s a portion of the quote that I like and is very pertinent. And then it comes out of our longer quotes. So I’m going to say the portion that’s pertinent first.

And then I’ll say the entire quote and then maybe repeat that portion again. So this is the portion and it comes from Epictetus stoic philosopher who I’ve quoted many times before. And the quote is. It is the action of an uninstrumented person to reproach others for his own misfortunes of one entering upon instruction to reproach himself and have one perfectly instructed to reproach either neither.

Uh, I’m sorry to, uh, shoot. Okay. I think I’m gonna start over.

Pam: that’s a hard quote to read.

CK: Yeah, because it, it, it all, it does make more sense with the whole quote, but here we go again, it is the action of an uninstrumented person to reproach others for his own misfortunes of one entering upon instruction to reproach himself. And have one perfectly instructed to approach neither others or himself.

Okay. So here’s the entire quote, then it also includes that portion. Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the views, which they take of things. Thus death is nothing terrible else. It would have appeared so to Socrates, but the terror consists in our notion of death. That it is terrible when therefore we are hindered or disturbed or greed, let us never impute it to others.

But to ourselves, That is to our own views. It is the action of an uninstrumented person to approach others for his own misfortunes of one, entering upon instruction to approach himself and have one perfectly instructed to reproach neither others or himself. So, does it make a little more sense with the whole quote?

Pam: it made sense with just the portion. I was saying that it was hard to read because of the actual words that are in it

CK: True, true.

Pam: that it’s actually hard to

CK: Yeah. And the way that they translate these quotes is. A little herky jerky as well. It’s not like smooth grammatically well constructed. Not that, that, that I just said wasn’t even well constructed yet. I can’t talk today.

Pam: So I get why you took the death part out and made that less important. But I think that if you, um, pose that part of the quote as not necessarily about death itself, like a physical death, but more about, um, transformation and about, um, things changing.

CK: Ooh, nice.

Pam: you know, death, as it occurs as a cycle every day, all day things, and

CK: Yeah.

Pam: it doesn’t have to be a death.

So you can think of that, that part of the quote, more as something ending and, um, and not being afraid of that.

CK: right? Yeah. I like that. That makes a lot of sense. And the quote in general stood out to me because of course it relates to complex systems and. Integration, which I tried to articulate last week, but, and actually, you know, I just listened back to that episode before starting this one. And I feel like I did a better job than I thought I did in the moment.

And I guess that’s a typical reaction anyway. I, you know, I’m more self-critical. During the moment or, I mean afterwards, but yeah, reflecting back and listening back, I I’m pretty pleased with how it came out and I’ve continued along that same line of thinking with my vast awareness framework. And I’ve been evolving in over the past week and I thought I was gonna talk a little more about it and elaborate upon it. Today, but something threw a wrench. Another thought threw a wrench into it this morning, right before I started. And as I was going through my morning routine, but well, screw it. Let’s lean into it. threw a wrench into it was my vectors or spectrums of. The vector between diversity and conformity and the vector between individualism and collectivism, because obviously there, those two are related in terms of relating the human system to the super system.

So in terms of. you know, last week I was talking about how, uh, society is more healthy, the more diverse it is or any economy or ecology is more healthy, the more diverse it is. And yet, so this is kinda what threw the wrench into my thinking is that there is a. Conflict between diversity and collectivism, or there could be a conflict or, you know, you could perceive a conflict.

And, um, so I was going through a thought process of working that conflict out because I was kind of relating diversity in conformity to. Individual LT and collectivism where diversity was to individuality as conformity was to collectivism. But the thing is those vectors aren’t perfectly related or synchronized, or they don’t they’re they’re different vectors.

So those. Characteristics of those vectors. Those spectrums are not exactly related. I mean, you could relate them like I just did, but there’s also differences cause it’s just, it’s just something totally different. So you can still be diverse and collective and you can still be, you can still conform and be individualistic. And so that’s kinda what was throwing a wrench into my model or framework, but yeah, I mean, now, even just now, as I’m talking about it, I realized that they’re just different vectors and I don’t need to relate them, or, I mean, if I do relate them, there are still differences to be pointed out. So yeah, that was all, I don’t know.

I just got, I just worked my way through that, so. That was cool, but yeah, I’m going to leave it at that for now because I’m still thinking about a lot of stuff. And, uh, I will just mention an extension of my vast orderness framework that I I’m calling fast. Fast reasoning. So it’s related and maybe next week I’ll be ready to talk about it

Pam: Right.

CK: you can look forward to that. So let’s get into our progress with podcasting, and I’m going to go ahead and start and say that we are using some new gear today. And well more specifically, Pam is using some new game and I don’t even know have knows what it is or what it

Pam: No idea what it looks like a, like a router.

CK: So we got yet another preamp for pans, Mick, and she’s been using the Shure SM seven B. Which is a very popular broadcast in even vocal music microphone. The original SM seven was used by Michael Jackson in thriller and a lot of music artists and the SM seven being it’s being used by Joe Rogan and lots of popular podcasts.

It’s one of the most commonly recommended mikes. And it sounds really great, but the issue with it is that it’s really quiet. So you need a lot of equipment to pump up the gain so that we can hear Pam more clearly and there’s equipment that can raise gain like preamps and audio interfaces. But some of those have loud preamps.

And so as you raise the game, the noise floor also goes up. And so you get more of that noise and that static noise or electric noise. If you have some feedback or electricity going through, um, whatever electrical noise that’s going through your signal chain. So we’ve been using a fat head inline preempt.

So Pam’s been using that with the mic for. The past few months actually, and it helped with the game, but I’m still, so with my mic, I’m using a condenser mic, the neat King bee with the motu on four audio interface. And I’m getting really clean, focal signal through my signal chain and all my gear. So I’m trying to get Pam’s to my level because.

I’m almost not like I can, I would be comfortable not post-processing my vocal at all, even though I do. And it, it, it is improved when I do, but at this point, the quality that’s coming out of my signal chain is really good. Like I’m really pleased with it and I’d be fine with just publishing this raw audio theme.

So I’m trying to get pans close to that level.

Pam: So as someone who knows absolutely nothing about all of this equipment, we did a lot of testing on mikes and settled on the SMB seven because my voice on its own sounded the best with this mic out of the seven or eight that we tested. Right.

CK: Right?

Pam: So is it worthwhile to get. This mic that my voice sounds the best with and then have to layer on these two preamps and do all of this stuff to make it clean, or would it have, like, in hindsight now been better to pick one, like the King be that you’re using that as a cleaner sound and then adjust how my voice sounds

CK: Yeah, those are all great questions. And those are all going to be kind of individual. And it’s going to be, it’s going to come down to personal preference. And maybe a couple of other things, you know, like you mentioned all the, you know, we have to add additional equipment, but the thing is your voice didn’t sound as good as on, on the King B and your room treatment is also different.

So. The room that I’m in is pretty well treated. And so I can use the King bee, which is a condenser mic and a lot more sensitive, and it would pick up a lot more noise if the room wasn’t treated as well. So in your situation, it probably wouldn’t work as well. And so, yeah, there’s a lot of different things to consider and there’s so many variables, so it’s difficult to. Recommend a specific, a specific gear bundle or whatnot. A specific setup.

Pam: Yeah. Or a specific strategy for your sound or

CK: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s a lot of testing and you know, the more it, what I’m finding out is that you get, you have to like, Train your ear. And it just comes down to repetition and experience and knowing what you want and figuring out how to get there. So I.

Pam: have a podcast if it wasn’t for you, because I would just go, Nope, not interested in all that.

CK: I mean, you know, I’m sure there’s a lot of podcasts out there that probably don’t go through all this stuff. And aren’t as concerned about the audio quality and, you know, most listeners may not even hear a lot of the differences. And like we were talking about before with form and function, you know, The function of podcasts is the content and the message and the form is the quality and how it comes out and how you hear it.

So, you know, there’s has to be a balance between the form and function. And so, yeah, I, you know, in this sense I’ve been pretty cognizant or pretty, I’ve been diving deep into the form. But yeah. You know, it’s, it’s individual, it comes down to personal preference and yeah, there’s just so much and what it is, it would be useful because the SM seven B is so popular and a lot of people just buy it because you know, people recommend it and then they find out that it doesn’t sound as good or, you know, they can’t get good audio out of it.

And it’s because it’s so quiet and you need a lot of boosting to the game to get quality audio out of it. So it’s something to consider. It’s definitely something you want to consider when you’re getting the SM seven B.

Pam: So the second preamp that we have is the PreSonus tube pro V two. Is that right? Two free

CK: PreSonus two pre V2 version two.

Pam: Okay.

CK: And it gives us, I think about 80 decibels of gain. Uh, we don’t pump it up that high because we obviously do gain staging and all that stuff. And I don’t know if that’s obvious, I guess, but

Pam: I don’t even know what that is.

CK: that’s what we do. That’s what I was doing when I was testing out the levels.

So, yeah, I’ll put a link to gain staging. Uh, that’s a bit much to get into right now, but yeah, so that’s, what’s going on right now with our audio quality and stuff like that. And Pam, you want to talk about not bad advice, anything new going on with it?

Pam: Um, it’s getting good reception so far. Right. And it, uh, you know, we recorded those episodes back in the middle of 2020, and didn’t really have a plan for specifically when they would get launched, because CK was learning about how to do all the audio editing and music production and everything that went into it.

So we kind of launched when it was ready. It wasn’t, we didn’t have a launch date planned. It wasn’t, it wasn’t anything specific like that. And yet, All of the episodes are lining up perfectly with the week that they come out. So that’s been really, really fun to watch and, um, to see that, that the information that we put together, uh, came out exactly when it needed to come out.

So, um, yeah, really excited about that and looking forward to, um, getting into our money episodes in about another month and a half.

CK: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So on my end with producing that bad advice, I have kind of. I’m not sure what’s going on, but like, I’ve been trying to bank in episode a week ahead and I ended up, I still ended up not finishing it completely until like the day before. The episode’s supposed to come up. So I’m still working on that and trying to make an episode.

So I’m ahead right now by about a half. So I’ll still need to get that done. And so hopefully I’m hoping this coming week, I’ll be out of the bank one and not have to worry about the timing or the deadline as much. And with practice with this podcast, uh it’s you know, it’s been pretty smooth. I’ve been able to publish the next day.

And so now I think, you know, as I was saying with my audio quality, I don’t have to do as much post-processing with it. And now with Pam’s new pre-AP, I won’t have to do as much with hers. So I’m going to try to process it as fast as possible and get it out the same day. So that’s my goal for that. And on that note, we listened back to last week’s session in the car yesterday.

And that’s always an interesting listening session for me because the car, the audio quality and the car is always different. But at the same time, I feel like that is like the, like, I want to aim to get good audio quality in a car. And that will be my base for audio quality everywhere else. Like that’s like my target is the car because like right now through my studio monitors and also through my Bluetooth earphones, uh, earbuds that I use when I listen to podcasts in general and also through my studio headphones, I feel like the audio for practice sounds great.

And then we get in the car and the last step is, so it sounded bright. Like the, I think I added a little too much brightness to it. Uh, I’ve been trying to get that NPR type of sound quality. So yeah, I think like the listening in the car is like that lowest common denominator denominator per se.

Pam: It will be in like a year when people are in their cars. Again,

CK: True. True. True. But at the same time, like what I’m thinking is if it sounds good in the car, it’ll sound good everywhere else. So, I mean, the thing is, you know, the more places or the more different sources that you can listen to the audio from the better, in terms of judging your quality and trying to determine your mix.

And trying to relate how that compares to how it sounds out of your monitors is the best strategy, you know, trying to get that reference from all different sources. So right now, for me, I’m kind of concerned with the car audio quality. So that’s where I’m at with that. All right. So moving on, let’s move on to the weekly force cast and this’ll be the pod SPO portion of the weekly force case where we recommend podcasts that stood out to us over the past week.

And for me, this one’s pretty easy and I knew this was going to be one of the first podcasts that I would recommend. And that is Ted talks. And. Now that I’m thinking about it. I don’t know like the exact title. I think it’s Ted talks daily and that one, as the title says, comes out every day or almost every day, I think on the weekends they take a break and sometimes they don’t have any, so most days of the week, there’s a Ted talk daily that comes out and it’s.

A lot of these are Ted talks that are online in video and they just redo it in podcast format, or just put out the audio in podcast format. And they last anywhere from five to 15 or 20. And I I’ve listened to probably 99% of all Ted talks. So I personally love the content and all the material that comes out of that.

And so I would definitely recommend Ted talks daily. And now that I’m saying it, I don’t even read, uh, I can’t even recall the episode that enticed me to do this, but on that note there, Ted also has a lot of different, a lot of other podcasts. Uh, one of them is the Ted radio hour. Where they take a specific topic or category and kind of combine excerpts from multiple Ted talks under that same category and talk about it and kind of moderate over it for about an hour.

And then there’s also the Ted interview where they may take a Ted talk and interview a speaker. And go into more depth and ask questions about the subject. So yeah, Ted talks, all the Ted talks podcasts I would recommend. And Ted talks daily is a good one because it’s shorter and lots of different subjects you can learn about.

So, Pam, do you have any recommendations for this week?

Pam: I do. So one of my favorite podcasts is 99% invisible and they do stories that are about. You know, everyday things that are are around you, but that you never think about. And at the end of every year, they do an episode or two that are mini stories that they couldn’t flush out into full episodes. So they’ll do four or five short little stories in one episode.

And one of the stories on the. Last episode was about something that everybody has probably heard, which is this like joke about the space program, which is that in the eighties, you know, NASA spent millions of dollars trying to make a pen that would write in space. And the Russians just used a pencil, right?

It’s like this snide little, um, commentary on like the U S government and wasted money and all that. But you can’t use a pencil in space. You can’t sharpen it. Cause you’ll have little shards of wood floating around, like there’s all kinds of problems with using a pencil in space. So they actually then go into the story about how the anti-gravity pen was created by an individual, not the government.

And then he sold it to the government for use in space and how it actually was something that you need. So it’s a really great, um, shift in perspective about how it’s really easy to judge something that you know, absolutely nothing about. And once you learn about it, you learn that it’s actually nothing like what you thought

CK: Yeah, interesting. I like that. Uh, that also goes into complex systems and illusion of explanatory depth. So yeah, I, I’m also a fan of 99% invisible. I don’t listen to it very often. I don’t listen to all of them. Because there’s just so many podcasts to listen to, but that is definitely one that I’m subscribed to.

And I listened to every once in a while and I enjoy so great recommendation.

Pam: Thanks.

All right, moving on to the next part of the weekly forecast. And this is linchpins though, where Pam provides some inspiration from the planets or the stars or the cards.

Yeah. So today I wanted to, um, bring in what we spoke about last week with mercury mercury, going into its retrograde period in February and tie that in with a Terrell card.

CK: cool.

Pam: So, this is a card that I pulled this morning and it’s the tower card. And the visual representation is of a tower, basically in destruction, burning down, there’s a person falling out of it.

It looks like a very, very traumatic card. So the idea that I want to convey here is that the structures that support our life are all relationships. They are our relationships with others and our relationship to ourself. They create the foundation that everything else is built on. And those relationships are always changing.

They’re either getting stronger or breaking down. They’re never stagnant. So being conscious and mindful of this gives you the awareness to reinforce the structures that make you more stable and either repair or replace those that don’t. The alternative is to build your life on a cracked foundation, which will always result in instability and problems when you try to build more onto that broken foundation.

So as we’re heading into a mercury retrograde period in the first half of February, With mercury being the planet of information exchange. So thoughts and communication, when it’s retrograde, it’s a time to review and consider your thoughts, which are your relationship to yourself and your communication, which is your relationship to others.

So use the next few weeks to consider what aspects of your relationship to yourself need to be repaired or where you need to communicate to repair a relationship so that you can be ready to move forward again. When mercury comes out of retrograde in mid February, so you can build on stable stress.

CK: Hmm. Sounds good. And it’s loosely related to our cook for the

Pam: Yup. It does.

CK: So yeah, that worked out pretty well. So that looks like it’s it for this week. Do you have anything else that you want to say?

Pam: Nope. I’m good.

CK: All right, we’ll wrap it up there then. So thank you everybody for listening. Thank you, Pam, for joining us always, where can people find you?

Pam: You can find me on Twitter where I am at Pamela underscore.

CK: And you can find me on Twitter at CK disco and we’ll end it there for this week. So I hope you all come back next week and keep on practicing to Lou.


It’s taken me until the age of 40 to feel comfortable in my own skin. Now I’m trying to find my voice.

CK Chung

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