Conflict is inevitable, resolution is optional, or how to improve conflict resolution with your spouse

After a recent conflict with my wife, I decided to talk with chatGPT about the conflict; if you haven’t tried talking to an ai about complicated matters, you will in the near future.

For the most part, the AI wasn’t very helpful as I wanted it to be:

  • Taking my side
  • Having an opinion
  • Gasping in shock or awe

No, none of that. And while that’s pretty disheartening when you are in the heat of your frustration, it actually was very beneficial in the long run.

ChatGPT is a language model. Kind of like the holodeck from star trek. You navigate the ethereal world of word construction with the use of a predictive language machine and can arrive at some neat insights.

And so I am slowly fizzling out of my upset as I read the AI’s uninspiring responses, it dawn’s on me that this is the first time in my life that I can have a conversation with a completely dispassionate 3rd-party perspective and arrive at an insight for behavior change.

Yes, I can read blogs. I can watch YouTube videos. I can listen to a podcast. But none of that is conversation, all of that is just entertainment.

See, humans evolved to talk through problems as a form of entertainment. In talking about problems with ourselves and with others we can process the information that is churning in our heads. That process of conversational problem solving is what has led to immense insights into human understanding (see: The Republic).

But there is a catch. When we get in conflict, which is inevitable, with those whom we solve problems with, the brain reverts to a problem making machine. It takes inputs as threats and generates outputs as violently as it deems fitting to the conflict. This can be as petty as calling someone a rude name, to slyly implying demeaning qualities about the other, and as destructive as displays of physical intimidation and violent harm. And as frustrating as that is, it is inevitable.

While that is the case, we humans have adapted to this inevitably. And we have developed different strategies and techniques for coming to some form of resolution. Because we all know that prolonged conflict is awful, and so getting back to problem solving is what has worked in the past and so it makes sense that we would work to solve the problem of the conflict. (Ironically, humans create conflicts for the opportunity to resolve them, see: game-playing).

Now imagine me sitting there talking into my phone’s keyboard transcriber all the frustrating feelings and thoughts I am having, all the beliefs and opinions I carry, and then sending that to a language model to process… Well, this is what it had to say:

Now I am not all that interested in showing you how it had said something similar to this over the course of several responses. But what I became immensely interested in was the following: a list of types of conflicts that child rearing parents have, a list of conflict resolution strategies, and a list of de-escalation tactics. Then I took those lists and had it generate a table, including a One-liner of dialogue exemplary of that type, strategy, tactic and I sat and reviewed what it had made.

The dialogue was bland and the table boring to review, but what it gave me was a moment to consider that I had many different options for coming to a resolution over this conflict. All I needed to do was consider what type of conflict it was, what strategy I might want to consider, what tactics would be useful to de-escalate the situation and finally a one-liner of dialogue to start the resolution strategy.

I must admit, I felt catharsis.

Later that night, after our son went to bed, we found ourselves seated on the couch and I was rambling on about one of my frustrations I am experiencing with one of my hobbies. And that’s when I decided to make an attempt at resolution. I leaned back slowly into the cushions, placed my hands interlocked on top of my head and said the following:

“You know, I talked to the ai at great length about our conflict this morning.”

And she took a deep breath and said pensively, “Any feedback?”

To which I replied in an even and measured tone, “In an even and measured tone, please describe the events that took place this morning.”

From there she took the time to unfurl her perspective and I made every effort to breathe slowly and deeply while imagining her perspective as if I was looking through her eyes đź‘€. She did great expressing her point of view evenly and in measured steps which allowed me to process and imagine her perspective. This process took time, yes, and it was difficult to stay focused on her perspective with all the mental commentary going on; but I kept breathing to an even and measured pace and was able to process her input without setting off the brain’s “Enemy:Destroy!” feature.

Once she was done, I thanked her for her perspective and reassured her that I heard her. I told her that I wasn’t going to try to feed her back her perspective, as I thought that very rude given the circumstances, but I did hear her and I was grateful she took the time to share with me in a even and measured way.

I guess it goes almost without saying that the experience was cathartic. I woke up feeling closer to my partner and I knew that I needed to share my insights with others. So I began working to build a template, a Kata, for handling conflicts more quickly in the future. You can find that 👇

And so there you have it, you now have a way to process conflicts and improve your resolution skills. I hope that my story of working with an ai was interesting, and I hope that showing how problem solving can be made easier when we work from a dispassionate language model. The Kata I provide is a language model trained specifically for conflicts with a family member, but it is conceivably possible to improve the Kata over time to include all conflicts. The only way we can do that is to get your feedback on it.

Anyway, I hope you have a great day of improving your life, even if in a really small way. Because remember, when the butterfly beats its wings, it can blow the dark clouds off from overhead.

Where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to

Audio recording of the post ‘Where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to’

I started this morning, much like any other, wondering how best to use today.

As I walked through the dark of the morning, I watched a satellite, high overhead, sail across the stars above me. I wondered deeply about the nature of the universe and the nature of my life. I was filled with questions like:

  • Will my novel ever be published?
  • What do my blog followers think of my absence?
  • Where have I been for the last four months?
  • When am I going to take this blog more seriously?
  • Which direction is my life headed for the next three months?
  • Who do I intend to educate about
  • How am I doing, honestly?

And so with these questions resounding, I decided to start answering them in the form of a blog post.

Will my novel ever be published?

Yes. That is the simplest way of answering that question.

The truth of the matter is that it is very difficult for me to say when at this point because I am waiting for my cover design to be completed. It would seem like there is no end in sight to the amount of work that is going into it, but I see that the novel’s entire process has been incredibly similar: can you say scope creep?

So, again, yes. The novel will be published. And I would say that if I was to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have done it the way that I had. I would have looked at the development of the novel more like a massive building with hundreds of laborers, instead of a cathedral I am building myself with the help of a few buddies.

What do my blog followers think of my absence?

In all honesty, I don’t really know.

From what I have discovered about the visitors of this blog, they really don’t have much to say about what I write and say. And to be honest, I have learned that those are the kinds of people that I attract to me: individuals who want me to say the things and be the person that they imagine me to be.

That’s what they have come to trust and believe in.

But hey, I have 0 evidence to support that and it is basically all conjecture at this point.

Where have I been for the last four months?

Well that’s a funny story.


This was my birthday month and I was busy preparing to leave the country.

What that looked like was making sure that all of the details of this country were addressed before I left to explore others. What that entailed was informing my employer that I was going to be leaving, educating my wife and child that I was going to be gone for a while, and preparing my step-brother for his first bout of international travel.

This month was crazy.


After having been turned from the gate on our way to south-east asia, my step brother and I traveled to mexico for a week while we waited for our eVisa applications to be approved for Vietnam.

While in Mexico, which I really enjoyed the last time I was there, my step-brother and I enjoyed long conversations about business and investments. We became very excited by some of the conversation topics that we discussed over coffee in Acapulco or tortas in Guadalajara, and this brief update does not serve as adequate space for how exciting some of those conversations were.

With that said, and our eVisa Applications approved, we went to Vietnam. Yay!

So we were in Vietnam. Except, due to a slight mishap of the eVisa process, my step-brother and I were separated on account of his point of entry saying Hanoi and mine saying Ho Chi Min City. We spent the next ten days almost 700 miles apart, which turned out to be one of the best things to happen to both of us. Vietnam is an incredible country, and I am honored to have spent so much time in that country. This post does not do any justice to the immense experience that both of us had.

After reconnecting with my step-brother in Da Lat, we found ourselves talking once again about some of the topics we had broached while in Mexico. These conversations went on all day and seemingly all through the night. Looking for excitement beyond just conversation, bored of the hometown lifestyle of Da Lat, we decided to visit Ho Chi Min City together and enjoy the bustling nightlife. We partied so hard. And I have got to say that Koreans in Vietnam party so hard, which is awesome.

Tired, sick, and recovering from partying (do I still have a headache and ringing ears), my step-brother and I decided to go to Thailand. He wanted to study Mui Thai and I wanted to compare cultures before leaving for America again. Vietnam, in my opinion, is way cooler than Thailand. But this post is not meant to go into the details of that.

The point is, that I and my step-brother went on incredible journey and we talked of many things. Some of them compelled me to return to America so that we could put those ideas into action.


Once I was back home, I got to work on those plans that my step-brother and I discussed for the last month in three different countries. As a result, the changes that I needed to take place in my life were rapidly implemented and immediately felt by all. The world that I had left, my home/work life, had completely changed after having experienced something a little bit different than what I was used to. Now that I had experienced a small sliver of Asia, nothing would ever be the same.


Now I am over a month back and a month into the plans that my step-brother and I had put into motion with our adventure.

So… stuff happened is all I am trying to say.

When am I going to take this blog more seriously?


Well, I don’t know. In all honesty. This post kind of marks a departure point for me. Not departing from, but departing to

This place has become my sanctuary of thoughts and a repository of useful reminders to my self. It is difficult to say whether Zarathustra took his cave seriously, and I venture that I am no different.

Beside, what would seriously look like?

Posts every day?

Shouting matches on social media?


What matters to me is that there is a place that I can go, and point others to, which I call home to my thoughts.

Not all of them… just the ones that choose to stay behind to be found.

Which direction is my life headed for the next three months?

That is a great question.


Sometime over the next thirty days, I intend to purchase a ticket to Mexico again.

I realize that travelling to other countries is so energizing that it is absolutely necessary to successfully accomplishing the whole purpose of this blog. It requires tremendous resources to make travelling a regular part of your world view. And that effort needs to be documented and shared with others.

I hope that I will have found more folks who enjoy the effort of making regular trips away from home with the intent to return to work. My suspicion is that I have already found some new folks, I anticipate that there will be more.



I hate December: cold, wet, and chuck full of consumer cheer. I would think that some of my next trip to Mexico spills over into some of December.

Regardless, I will spend time with family and friends and I will think deeply on the remaining days of the year.

I will likely use ledger-cli to line up my financial reporting for the year (why haven’t I written a post about this?)

I will likely consider my new years resolutions.

I will hopefully publish my novel.


I think that I am going to be gearing up to leave the country again, and so I will need to

DEFINE what brings value into my life.

ELIMINATE whatever is not bringing value into my life.

AUTOMATE those value streams.

And LIBERATE my self to write poetry or another novel or maybe pursue my dreams

Who do I intend to educate about

I think that I am going to be more explicit to some of the online communities of who I am and what I am about. From what I can tell, there is little benefit to maintaining pseudonyms when a personal identity is always more enriching to pass on to one’s legacy.

I think that I am going to make it more apparent to the readers of this community to know what communities I participate in. I think that I am going to do that in several ways, but for now, suffice it to say, what I think/believe/participate in is going to be more apparent.

How am I doing, honestly?

I just wrote and recorded audio for a blog post. So, momentarily, I am very pleased.

Long range though, I am deeply troubled. And that is for reasons that I haven’t brought to light just yet.

Medium range, I am feeling a little uncomfortable – but it will all work out.

Short range, I think that these are some of the most important years of my life.

Near range, the next 12 months are going to be some of the most intense soul searching and examination that I have done in my entire life.

So, honestly, I think am doing great as a human being.

How are you?

Pain yields to innovation

Audio Recording of the Author Reading: Pain yields to innovation

Recently, I have been thinking about pain.

The pain of the market is just one such example. Pain of the body, too. And while I have thought on this, I’ve concluded that pain yields to innovation.

“Let me explain; no, there’s too much. Let me sum up.” Inigo Montoya

There is multi-millenia of pain that our species has experienced, and for it we have become exceptionally capable overcoming pain:

  • cold -> fire
  • weather -> shelter
  • hunger -> agriculture
  • conflict -> weapons (empathy is a weapon, too)

These are only a few examples, there are many more.

And what of your pain? Do you shun it, ignore it, mask, bury or hide it?

Hone in on it. Feel it.

The source of your pain may yield wonders untold, undiscovered or unimaginable. But you must not turn your back; no, not on your pain.

To do so, to turn on your pain, is to turn on your self.

Face you pain, feel it, and grow.