Zinzy's website


Inspired by Buster Benson’s Codex, Greg Clarke, Elliott Cost’s Opinions and others I’m using this page to grow1 a record of things I believe.

Terms of use

If you’re Zinzy

No human experience can ever be summed up in a list of bullet points. Nevertheless, the things below you have written in earnest. Look at them whenever you need a reminder of what’s important to you.

If you’re someone else

Feel free to read, learn, wonder, and remember:

  • Statements below apply to me, and to me only, even though their phrasing is often general
  • This is an unapologetic codex, in which I may say things that offend your sensibilities, simply because of the person I am. You are not me, you may disagree with me. That’s okay. Make your own codex!
  • These things may be subject to change.

The codex

Chapter 0: Beliefs about beliefs

  • Opinions, beliefs, and values may change over time and that’s okay
  • I am ignorant and see only a very small fraction of reality from my own standpoint

Chapter 1: Values I try to live by

Chapter 2: What I believe about myself

  • I am an optimist
  • I make mistakes
  • My intuition will always be able to lead the way
  • My emotions are my responsibility (Gregology)
  • My questions are relevant
  • I’m great at finding connections with others
  • At heart I’m a cultural relativist
  • I’m privileged because:
    • I have no serious, untreatable physical disabilities
    • I live in a North-West European country with solid infrastructure, excellent health care, and good education opportunities, where I mostly feel safe and free presenting as queer with my partner
    • My partner and I are invested in our relationship, share the same values, and have succeeded at cohabitating so far
    • I have close friendships with White people who are fiercely antiracist
  • I lack privilege because:
    • I’m a first-generation university graduate, and I was not at all prepared for what academic life would bring
    • I cannot safely travel to certain countries with my partner
    • There are church communities that I cannot join because of the color of my skin, my gender identity, or my sexual orientation.

Chapter 3: Spirituality and philosophy

Chapter 4: People & relationships

  • People try to do what they think will make the world a better place, even if that means its destruction
  • Strangers don’t often expect kindness. It can be a spark for a great friendship.
  • Everybody’s lives are infinitely complex, vulnerable, precious, and potential, just like mine.
  • White isn’t a color unless it’s a skin color
  • Seeing yourself in other people is crucial to developing a healthy sense of self
  • No adult person should be forced to carry on a relationship with family members.
  • Some people shouldn’t have children.
  • Sometimes, going no contact with a parent is the least damaging option.
  • Everyone has their own way of saying “I love you”

Chapter 5: Culture, society, and media

  • I know for a fact it’s pronounced “Timothy Charmander”
  • Seeing your experiences and standpoint reflected in media is crucial to developing a healthy sense of self
  • It’s good to have one website as your central point of communication with the Internet
  • To learn about a group of people, look at the stories they tell themselves and others
  • History is told by the winner, and sometimes by the loudest

Chapter 6: Politics and policies

  • No political system is flawless, some are worse than others
  • Both revolution and evolution are required for change
  • Ones politics cannot be seen separately from ones character and conduct. Sometimes, it’s not possible to “engage with someone despite your different views”, because of the implications those views have
  • Abortion and birth control should be easily accessible to every human on earth
  • Drug abuse is a disease, not a crime
  • Education should be affordable for every human on earth
  • Reparations for the transatlantic slave trade are necessary, in the form of investing in deep anti-racist education

Chapter 7: Health & Wellbeing

  • Diet culture is dangerous
  • Eating disorders are not about food

Chapter 8: Learning

  • Discomfort is where growth happens
  • Top-down learning works best

Chapter 9: Work

  • Praise in public, criticize in private
  • Don’t work overtime unless required
  • The product designer should conduct user research
  • The product designer should be a PO’s sidekick

Chapter 10: Habits

  • I am intrinsically motivated, and will struggle with anything that I must do based on extrinsic motivation
  • Practice yin yoga to train your quietude muscle, and tolerance of discomfort
  • Wash your face every day, and moisturize properly.
  • Buy simple black t-shirts and wear one every day
  • Dress in calm tones, have one splash of style (glasses, weird socks)

Chapter 11: Personal Productivity

Chapter 12: Nitty Gritty

  • Treat or split the tab. Don’t try to remember who owes who what.
  • Carnations are the best flowers
  • Growing plants is more fun when the plants are small
  • People in their early- to mid-thirties should have access to PokΓ©mon Red on a floppy disk, as well as a device on which to play it
  • Ironing is a calming activity
  • Neon candles are usually the most beautiful candles

Chapter 13: Influences and Recommendations

  • Food
  • Books
  • Movies
    • Halloween is the best horror movie franchise, in the very first place because of the blatant disregard the films have for one another.
  • Documentaries
  • People Bridget Everett

Chapter 14: Predictions

Chapter 15: Ideas I love


Chapter 13: A Timeline of My Life

  • Annual Gratitude Lists
  • Named Years

In closing

Further reading

  1. https://codex.betterhumans.pub/what-is-a-codex-vitae-and-how-to-make-your-own/ ↩︎