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Current Affairs

A Magazine of Politics and Culture

Unbearable Lightness: A Tech CEO’s Diary

A diary of Personal Growth, Mindful Self-Humbling, and Blameless Eating.

As the CEO and creator of one of the largest and most influential companies on Earth, I am well aware of the unique power I hold. I strive to be conscious of my privilege, to interrogate my own biases, and to grow as a person in step with the discourse. In keeping with my commitment to bettering the world, I long ago resolved to start by bettering myself. I now want to invite my followers into the process, so that they can understand me, empathize with me, and perhaps, in their own small ways, emulate me—and in doing so, effect global change in a way I can feel good about. Or, bad about. At this point in my journey I am seeking extreme emotions of any kind.

Self-improvement is a marathon, not a sprint, except during fasts, which are a form of spiritual sprint undertaken by the stomach and mind working in tandem to become enlightened as efficiently as possible. Here I will lay out one day in my life, with consideration given to the days surrounding it, and their part in contributing to the events of the day in question. I hope you find the details of this account applicable to your totally equally important life.

11:59 PM

I begin my days the night before, with a period of pre-day modified rest that is not to be confused with traditional sleep. I do not have a bedroom. Since I have adopted modified rest, I have not needed one. During modified rest I lie uncovered on the floor or ground in various areas of my compound, sometimes outdoors, and have my Rest Assistant supervise and facilitate a series of disturbances at regular intervals. These disturbances include loud noises, animals, human assailants, and vehicles driving close to my sleeping body. I find that the heightened awareness imparted to me by this process carries into the day and makes me a more creative problem solver.

5:00 AM

My modified rest ends at dawn. My yoga instructor is already waiting for me on the yoga pavilion for one-on-one instruction. I know that this part of my routine may not be accessible to everyone—however, I am aware through my employees that there are yoga instructors who administer to groups of as many as five, making classes efficient and affordable. In fact, this group system would be my first choice if I weren’t diagnosed with an acute fear of being assassinated during yoga class specifically. In my personal sessions, my yoga instructor and I are able to work together to help me achieve true selflessness.

5:45 AM

I have moved away from showering after discovering how harmful it is to the planet. A washcloth shower does the trick—it preserves the microbial balance of my various biomes, and alleviates the danger of slipping and falling in the bathroom, which I have become afraid of. Used washcloths are incinerated to prevent my DNA being gathered from them. That is not to say I don’t trust my staff—I simply do not trust that someone might not infiltrate my staff in order to gather my DNA. Before incinerating the washcloth I wring out the water and drink it. This will sustain me until the afternoon.

5:55 AM

I put on my black unisex calf-length turtlenecked day tunic—the less I have to think about my outfits, the more time I have to think about work.

6:00 AM

I ride my HyperCarriage to the office. It is a prototype for my larger-scale private subway project.  I feel that every CEO should be their own guinea pig. My HyperCarriage can cover the distance between the undisclosed location where I live and the office in 25 minutes. In that time, I follow up on emails. I find it is helpful to be concise and positive in my responses to my colleagues. If they send me a progress report saying they do not believe a benchmark is possible, I simply say: “Do it anyway.” In this way I have inspired them to go above and beyond, and have achieved the highest employee turnover rate in the industry.

6:25 AM

I arrive at HQ. I squat-walk to my office with my noise-cancelling headphones on. There are some employees who have gotten there before me—I both appreciate their initiative and resent them so deeply that I taste blood in my mouth. I will promote them, but I will make them travel for no reason to the point where their personal lives fall apart. But what if they don’t have personal lives? How can I engineer it so they can find happiness, only to lose it in pursuit of success? I think about this in my office for 35 minutes during free-form meditation time.

7:00 AM

I break my speech-fast by verbally communicating for the first time that day with my executive team for our morning brainstorm, which typically lasts for two to five hours. During this time my colleagues are encouraged to speak honestly with me, without inhibition or concern for stultifying power structures. I request that each employee stand in front of the group and say to my face something that they feel I am doing wrong, either professionally or personally. At these meetings I end up firing at least two people.

11:00 AM

A magazine is doing a profile of me and the once-in-a-generation vision that my company embodies. I am therefore roped into doing a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz. I insisted on a modest approach, so we have agreed to 12 insanely, upsettingly close-up photographs of my face.

12:00 PM

I leave the office to begin the afternoon’s self-improvements, newly recentered by the morning’s appraisals. I do not check emails or any other communications on the ride back to my home, choosing instead to hum at the exact same vibrational frequency as my carriage as it rockets down the tunnel.

12:35 PM

I take a phone call with Bill Clinton.

12:45 PM

I watch a Jordan Peterson lecture.

1:00 PM

I check back in at the office by reading the keystroke logs of my employees.

2:00 PM

I eat one mung bean with my Ativan, reluctantly. So many in the world have no mung beans at all. It would be more enlightened if I were to not eat the mung bean, like so many millions of less fortunate people do every day. However, I need to take my medicine with food.

2:30 PM

After mindfully digesting the mung bean, I feel energized and refocused. It is time to take a phone call with someone whose identity I cannot disclose publicly.

3:00 PM

It is time to take another phone call that I cannot explain further.

3:30 PM

I check InfoWars.

3:45 PM

I turn on the garbage disposal so I can perform Tantric Screaming without the house staff coming in to ask me what’s wrong. I scream whether or not I am upset because it is essential for clearing the system of stress before it metastasizes and becomes a distraction, which is counterproductive. I have asked the household staff to not check on me when I do Tantric Screaming, but they insist that I sound like I’m gravely injured, and it would be irresponsible for them not to investigate. I resent that they know so much about me.

4:00 PM

I look at my household staff’s personal profiles on their various social media and banking websites.

4:30 PM

It is time to check my household security cameras.

5:00 PM

I eat an olive, mindful of the many who cannot eat an olive.

5:15 PM

I go back for one more olive.

5:30 PM

I read an article about a problem in the world from the dossier of articles about problems in the world that my assistant assembles for me. This article is about homelessness in the city I live close to. I am upset by this—I asked my assistant to stop including this issue in the dossiers. Nonetheless I decide to make it my evening’s subject of Structured Problem Solving Time.

6:00 PM

I pace the floor of my focused meditation room contemplating how I can be of greater service to the world through the specific issue of homelessness, however distasteful I find the subject. After some very serious pondering I decide that I am not qualified to fix this problem, and I should instead allocate resources to people who have experience dealing with it.

6:15 PM

I donate two million dollars to the city’s police.

6:30 PM

My partner and I have dinner reservations at 8:00 at a small farm-to-table sushi restaurant on an uncharted island off the coast of Big Sur. If I’m going to make it in time I should leave now. I do not like eating out—I find it wasteful, especially when there is a private chef here at the house. But my partner insists and we contractually cannot separate until 2021.

7:45 PM

I wake up as the jet is landing. The flight attendant is watching me with an inscrutable look on her face. What does she think of me? What kind of thoughts do people like that even have? I throw up bitterly in my thermos of ionized cayenne water on the way to the restaurant.

8:00 PM

The less said about dinner the better. I find restaurants tacky and that level of conspicuous consumption immoral. Eating seafood is unsustainable. Climate change is one of my key issues and is a matter of concern to me personally. The bunker I have had built in preparation for it is claustrophobic and I don’t like the idea of having to live there.

9:00 PM

I fly back alone. I can’t stop staring at the flight attendant. Where did she go to college? I bet she is one of those people who goes online and talks about having me publicly executed. I make a note to fire her.

10:00 PM

I decompress in my hot salt water pool. Of all the luxuries in my life, this pool is my favorite. When I’m here, I forget everything.

10:05 PM

I remember something my CTO mentioned about productivity numbers in Cambodia and I now have an idea for how we can turn disappointment into opportunity there. I leave the pool and spend the rest of the evening sending concise and positive emails.

1:30 AM

I begin modified rest. Another day finished—millions more to go.

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Celebrating our Ninth Year of publication! Lots to stimulate your brain with in this issue: how to address the crisis of pedestrian deaths (hint: stop blaming cars!), the meaning of modern art, is political poetry any good?, and the colonial adventures of Tinin. Plus Karl Marx and the new Gorilla Diet!

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