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