One of my friends frequently reminds me to write but I have to admit, over the last year or so, whenever I consider what I would write about, my conclusion is often that the activity is pointless. That it is a species of self-aggrandizement that contributes little to others, collects a time tax from those who read it, and provides me with most of the benefits — a psuedo sense of accomplishment, incremental practice on my writing and synthesis, and some temporary exposure on social media.
In my teenage years and early 20s, every new insight felt novel. It tickled the brain to think about the human condition, the potential indifference of the universe, the problems of our present and future — all the topics that make for good rainy afternoon cafe chatter — and each realization seemed to open up entire territories (like in Minesweeper :D). I had just enough aptitude and knowledge to think I knew – or could come to know – everything.
As I read more (and even at a decreasing pace), it is clear that most of what I had previously thought were interesting had been thought a long time ago, in greater depth and conveyed in fewer words. It seems pointless to perform the job of a tweetbot and re-post highlights here; this isn’t my attempt to be a bot, a motivational speaker, or a source of mental donuts. It would be different if I had derived new insights from new information or a diverse perspective on a neglected topic.
With the exception of those cases, I am inclined to keep silent and just observe. If anything, to prune.
My only significant realization in the last few years (and possibly for a long time) is this — life is shockingly simple. Good health, meaningful work, good relationships, and luck. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally; be vigilant for what has meaning; spend time with loved ones; be grateful.
Interests going into 2016 if you’re interested in discussing–
- Problems of our present — centralization, climate change, education, aging, inequality of the ability to create value, thoughtless design
- Problems of our future — artificial intelligence, synthetic biology