Nassim Nicholas Taleb says “If you know in the morning, what your day looks like with any precision, you are a little bit dead — the more precision, the more dead you are.”
The goal of life should be to live an objectively successful life on the dimensions which matter most to you and the people you care about, while living the most minimally compressive life (compression means that you can summarize it easily and plainly). What this means is that you should aspire to be successful on some dimensions, and if you always take the safe route, you can achieve some at least local optimum on some of those dimensions (unless you’re really stupid or your initial conditions really suck), but taking a straight shot through life will likely deprive you of the broad range of human emotions we ought to discover, and at the least make you boring. See my last post for more on this, but we need to manage this duality of secure success and degenerate chaos, with the intention of living a maximally explored life, or at least to not be boring.
I think most rebellious people eventually ask the question “why” to life. In the previous chunk of my recent life, I was way too consumed with figuring out the meaning of life, studying my own and my peers’ actions, as well as the behavior of more simple creatures we evolved from for clues. Usually I would reduce the specific anxiety I’m trying to resolve to the form of a duality, and then I conclude that “I’ve figured it out! Humans are abstraction machines able to perceive this duality and optimizing for the optimal value on it with respect to their cultural values!” And then I’m like: Congratulations, you played yourself, because that path always boils down to us being just chemical machines. But then I had some “breakthrough” that it’s fucking useless to just point out these abstract dimensions humans are optimizing for, as it just renders us machines, and if I’m not going to off myself then I might as well play the game optimizing for average daily satisfaction.
Richard Feynman tells this story about how his artist friend doubted that Feynman could view a flower as beautiful since Feynman would be too focused on the evolution and physiology defining it, dulling it, to which Feynman responds that each piece of science defining the flower enhances its beauty…
This site is mostly just a journal - not a diary about what’s going on in my life, but a place to try to define what’s giving me anxiety about life and the human condition. It’s mostly for myself to try to define and externalize these anxieties rather than have them swirling in my conscious and subconscious, but it may help you to know that someone else is experiencing the same anxieties and feel less like a freakazoid.