The deeply mediocre among us find deep lifestyle hacks. Podcast-heavy info-diets replace more strenuous reading that would compete with lazier pleasures. We accept the fact that podcasts INSTEAD of heavy reading biases our info exposure. Text-to-speech to lazily cram ebooks that others will sit down and read.
We must resist telling the Truly Productive about our hacks. Podcasts have become part of the way-too-disciplined lifestyle now.
Security is hard. There's at least three dimensions of attack:
• Runaway sophistication: Meltdown/Spectre, worst case cryptography situations against nation states
• Runaway stupid hackery: Expanding door frames for physical access, social engineering
• Gödel, Escher, Bach style exploitation of map vs. territory: Finding ways to make software do things it wasn't supposed to
True hacker beauty comes from the masterful application of all three
Potential consequences of new species:
🥗 Separate restaurant economy emerges b/c homo sapien restaurants taste disgusting to new species.
😡 New species isn't calibrated for small tribe reputation. Humans view them as unbearably brash.
💼 New species is way more effective at large companies. "They're taking our jobs" narrative.
💔 New species views humans as morally bankrupt. New species grapples with scary moral imperatives.
🤔 New species' intellectual culture becomes illegible to humans.
Sci-Fi plot I'd love to read:
"Rapid human evolution" invented. New species of humans emerges in 2020, evolved for modern world:
👅 Palate calibrated to modern food availability: tasty = healthy
🏙️ Adapted for cities, not tribes: no Dunbar number
💼 Highly abstract and specialized work feels natural and motivating
💗 Empathy scales w/ numbers
🧠 Stats are intuitive. Brain prefers "full picture" over consistency
Homo sapiens see this new species as a mixture of superhuman, pathetic, and alien.
On having a highly or minimally structured life, and having clear or fuzzy goals:
‣ High structure, clear goal: “I work at BigCo. I want to move up”
‣ High structure, fuzzy goal: “I work at BigCo and I want to Be Good”
‣ Low/clear: “I run a company, I want it to be big”
‣ Low/fuzzy: “I don’t *need* to work, I want to Be Good”
The Big Tech "war on attention" is more like guerrilla warfare or terrorism. Each of us is the large formal military and we're fighting against a leaderless guerrilla army.
Everyone I know trying to actually fight back is paying out the nose in terms of tech convenience in order to, like, not check Twitter/Facebook every 10 min.
We can't go on fighting like this. We need to find a better path forward or we're all gonna become luddites.
One of the more formative things I got out of ribbonfarm so far: internalizing the "Protestant ethic" as a concept, recognizing it in myself, and chilling out with ideas like viewing vacation as a tool for recharging your batteries (and thus a tool for optimizing work productivity).
I've learned a bunch of other interesting concepts and whatnot too, but that one popped up around a time where I needed it.
A lot of smart people value intelligence, conscientiousness, and grit in others.
Thought I've been playing with: Unusually high intelligence and conscientiousness both look virtuous in practice. It feels good to demonstrate those traits if you can. Unusually high grittiness though looks uncomfortable, like someone struggling for a long time even though it makes the person and those around them uncomfortable. It might feel like poor calibration in practice.
While discussing this with my friend at lunch, I realized what motivated this thought.
Between 13 and 24, I think my tolerable range of how far someone should "punch down" shrank more and more until it approached zero.
At 13, I probably would be one of those people who joins a flat earth society and laughs at them.
Today, I feel like the people I respect should be above quote tweeting NDT and calling his "truth force" thing dumb.
At 13, I was excited to be able to throw intellectual punches and win.
By 14, I understood that others found this distasteful and mainly stopped.
15, internalized that it was distasteful.
~17, internalized also the distastefulness of "punching down"
At 24 now, I mainly want to avoid throwing punches in general and just present ideas independently.
This feels like a terminal state, but I imagine it isn't. Curious how the preference will shift with time
I tweet at https://twitter.com/backus
I'm here looking for more content to be confused by
Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.
Kinda/sorta sponsored by the Ribbonfarm Blogamatic Universe.
If you already know a few people in this neck of the woods, try and pick a handle they'll recognize when you sign up. Please note that the registration confirmation email may end up in your spam folder, so check there. It should come from administrator Zach Faddis.