Why I’m here
Thinking about my own philosophy, useful categories
Ontology—what exists? (Gods, the natural world)
Cosmology—how did we get here? (origin stories, secular history)
Epistemology—how do we know what is true? (science, sacred texts)
Axiology—what is the good worth striving for? (values, morals)
Praxeology—how should we act to reach our goals? (practices, behaviors)
Eschatology—how do we understand death and our own mortality? (afterlife, “YOLO”)
On Being Human in an AI age
Idea for an #atomic essay or something.
New definitions for humanity.
Riffing off Rob's work: [Unmistakably Human - by rob hardy - the ungated creative](https://www.ungatedcreative.com/p/unmistakably-human)
And https://3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2023/02/the-world-john-von-neumann-built.html on von Neumann's human-as-strategy qualities
- Series of short videos basically saying "I read this, here's what the author tried to say I think, YES, AND..."
- USeful frame - these guys are entirely right for their audience, and most people today. But for some of you, think about xyz
- e.g. Jonny's email 28-Oct-22;
- the magic bit with interoception (for the lucky few of us who are in a position to open up to this) isn't that you can access it consciously, its that by opening that window and focusing on it for a while your subconscious can add it to ITS awareness and use it for you, informing you. That's where the benefits of emotional regulation come from, not the conscious practice. Which I think Jonny knows, actually...
- Rob's manifesto - 2 min summary of what he's trying to say, response re: human nature (its not fixed, don't fight it, just change it)
- E-mail from Superorganizers, Casey Rosengren, 4th Oct 2022
- Sum it up in 30s.
- What I'm going to say is "yes, and".
- Yep, basically, for some cognitive capacities. Train like a muscle. Combo of stretch (feel the strain, push, bit not too much) and muscle work (reps, progressive overload) will get you a long way. Things like working memory, shape recognition, most of what we lump under "intelligence" (check g code guy list) all fit this to a t (don't forget nutrition, rest, etc).
- ability to suppress urges (including urge to do/respond) is similar, sort of. But presence is more complex, and combos are hard to isolate-train in the brain. Core doesn't get touched.
- Like a dancer isolate training and memorising routines. Sure, it's cool for self dev. But where's the love?
- All that rep and visualisation will get you good at the thing. Great. But. And this is the key difference between me and most of your clients, I don't want to "get good at" life...
- So if u want to love to dance (not do it because it's good for you or will land you a great partner) listen on... Love takes work, but it doesn't start from scratch
- Roads to where you want to go - direct and indirect. You have to keep walking the direct one; indirect becomes part of you. Think you're hinting at this, or maybe wondering about it, when you say the aim is to just be.
- To get there it's not about cognitive capacities, it's about traits. About who you are (now). Which doesn't work the same way, at all.
- Progressive overload for kindness will get you doing kind things.
- But reading stories about kindness, thinking and feeling through when you were kind (and others were kind to you), having a kinder social circle, slowing down, using numbers less... That'll make you BE kind.
- It's sideways. And it doesnt have to be that effortful or planned, because a lot of WHO you want to be will resonate and cross-train. Maybe training is the wrong word, not sure.
- Mind isn't just a machine, subconscious is far more powerful than "you" so you need to mobilise it. ACT kind of hacks the direct path, but if you're already there, you need to xyz.
Mostly short article#ideas
- Authentic decisions and your intuition, why the two are one and the same. If you're acting from a route, that's not you.
- How I understand 'the self' (core-level, not conscious mind) - writing this for Kyle really
- Encouraging people in the knowledge industry by taking advantage of hive minds or people who can support them rather than thinking of themselves as individuals.
- So much of the content on how to do a better job as a knowledge professional is about training yourself up so that you can do 80 hour weeks, and do that you're never thinking and always doing.
- Write something about being a human who does knowledge work > being a knowledge worker automaton? Encouraging people to value outside perspectives, take an expertise that isn't their own, talk to other people, take support and use support well making most of tech. That would also help explain what Thala does, which is help provide support for other people.
- How academia can prepare you for the real world, a more positive take on it of course -- for example academic thinking across disciplines is useful -- chat to Kristen Sadler about this.
- What business has to offer academics -- a diversity of perspective. Perhaps hire academics not just to fill a research whole but rather reflect a different way of thinking. The current thought is that the left believe in demographic diversity while the right believe in neurodiversity, however David thinking something more nuanced is required, hence: diversity of perspective, and you can get that from either ways.
- Something on AI trying to understand people - well, correlations at societal level (and accurate at that level)
- 1- Those correlations are causation. Therefore stats matter, which is what we've seen in the last generation of social sciences (more men in an industry --> sexism)
- 2- Individuals are complex, societies are simple. Like dice, roll enough times and it is predictable.
- Why do I care?
- Norms are being established and being outside the norm is difficult in so many ways. (think employment and neurodiversity, insurance and geography, UBI and the stateless)
- Ruminate on this - google use people in their HR processes.
- Solar Panels Vs generator
- Solar panels and an electric outboard rather than diesel generator for our power generation on board and petrol outboard for the dinghy.
- Child labour and relatively small-scale ecological destruction (for the metals in solar panels and lithium ion batteries) Vs carbon and particulate emissions. I went with limiting carbon (plus comfort / air quality, and not having to carry petrol on board, all non-insignificant factors).
- Add massive widespread ecological destruction into the mix with deep sea mining (and the fact we have no idea whatsoever about the contribution of those ecosystems to the biosphere), not sure I'd made the same call
- Asteroid mining? Let's at least get the externality off planet before we pretend to sustainability and growth.
Book - How to Think Goodly
a series of ideas that would collate neatly into a book, on how we think and what to do to improve that.
Each article would include a section on “preparing yourself for the next decade and beyond” with some tech/progress-based comments. future technology
Outline structure in three parts (this is likely to change):
- What is productive thinking? Against the cult of productivity – especially with an eye on the future where “content” can be written and formulaic decisions made faster and better with AI.
- 1. habits and processes - what they can do and what they can't. willpower etc.
- 2. attention, focus, flow, self-eliciting states of mind
- 3. purpose and meaning. What matters? To you and for you – what you read, how you consume, what you do.
- 4. analytics and measuring the right things (e.g. microsoft analytics focus/collab split)
- Embodied thinking
- 5. Physiology for thought - neurohacking
- 6. Emotionality of thought
- 7. Technologies – cataloguing, writing, imaging, networking
- 8. memory – distribution, organisation, using. (second brain, loading memory for processing)
- Why be rational? Benefits and limits of a rational approach to thinking. Human network.
- 9. systems thinking / Mental Models
- 10. cognitive bias
- 11. Outside perspectives and hive mind
- a. Most literature for knowledge workers rests on individual productivity but if you want to multiply, why not combine? Plus, leads to better, more equitable, future.
- 12. Truth Vs persuasion: accepting difference
Random topic list
Psychedelics, Epistemology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Somatic Experiencing, Stoicism, Quantum Physics and Consciousness, Deep Ecology, Biohacking, Neuroplasticity, Minimalism and Simple Living, Holotropic Breathwork, Transhumanism, Permaculture, Shadow Work in Psychology, Sacred Geometry, Digital Nomadism, Intermittent Fasting and Longevity, Ethical Dilemmas in Science and Technology, Telepathy and Non-verbal Communication, Theories of Time, Ancient Wisdom and Indigenous Knowledge, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Therapy, Lucid Dreaming, The Gut-Brain Connection, Rituals and Modern Spirituality, Eudaimonia (Flourishing) and Well-being, Singularity and Post-humanism, Modern Myths and Archetypes, Biomimicry in Design, Sound Healing and Cymatics, The Blue Zones: Secrets of Longevity, Taboos in Modern Society, Game Theory and Human Cooperation, Nature Connectedness and Biophilia, Cognitive Liberty and Mind Rights, Sensory Deprivation and Float Tanks, Modern Nomadic Cultures, Art and Science Fusion, Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), The Role of Art in Therapy and Healing.
Sci-Fi short stories
#idea something I'd thoroughly enjoy but am probably not equipped for at present.
- What I’d like to do really is write unsettling but realistic sci-fi about the trends that unsettle me. Topics where, when I look forward to 2040 or so, I wonder whether the changes that are underway constitute progress or not. And if not, what would a better type of change look like? Overall positive tone, but difference-not-progress is the moral thrust.
- Below in my head right now.
- Ideas for interwoven/correlated stories:
- What would it be like to grow up knowing your parents had edited your genes to make you suitable for deep-space exploration? Contrast "Follow in your parents footsteps."
- Technologies for thinking (oral, writing, digital) – could be a book on its own as its fascinating to think about.
- Manufactured trust.
- Humans from the perspective of a general-AI - compare to trees from the perspective of humans (hidden life book).
- Alternative presents (technological changes and how the present would be different; basic counterfactual stuff. lots of ideas around that.)
- Random topics on my mind:
- Semantic and episodic memory – how does tech impact each of them? Self-narratives in the age of evidence.
- Circles of meaning, individuals and their networks (trend towards global elite with dull, uniform, consumers Vs local riches)
- Fragility of supply chains – expedition planning
- Mimi Vs vough (Tivland) – inspiration from Ted Chiang
- Travel and life-pacing: e.g. 2 year career breaks rather than annual holidays. Local rest of the time. (again global/local narrative, at home at home)
- Cloud-brain - processing at the speed of thought.
- Sex, pleasure, dopamine-hits, morals (both social pov and technology - robots, consent, relationships, sex augmentation, empathy-via-neuros)