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Culture Internet Culture

Day 1202 and Dazed and Confused

Bayes and I chat

only a few people seem to be thinking clearly about the powerful ai future. if your world model is built entirely off of samples from this app you are going to end up confused. if it’s built with zero samples from this app, you will also be confused

Bayeslord

I was raised by a good hippie so I couldn’t help but reach for a little LED Zeppelin joke about green text training our desires and fears. .

Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true, wanting AI never bargained for you. Lots of people talk but few of them know the soul of the green text was created below”

Julie who should have asked chatGPT

I’ve got Dazed and Confused playing in my Spotify while I wonder how we remix our way to understanding if we’ve got a clear path through the dark forest.

There are many nodes and each signal you toss to the algorithmic winds sails to exact audience you are calling. Scream loud. Run the solo that shows you are a live one. Act on the systems. Reach out and take it.

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Emotional Work Startups

Day 1193 And Peak Performance

I was really struggling yesterday so I didn’t expect to jump right onto a flow state today. I went into town to eat a hamburger.

“You may not like it but eating a burger in the back of a casino in a strip mall in Montana while reading an economics lecture by Deidre McCloskey is actually female peak performance”

Maybe it was the positive effect of a bunch of fat and protein but I was in the zone afterwards. I was able to pull together a bunch of disparate connections on a specialty niche where I’ve had some very promising investments.

I, for a brief shining moment, realized I was almost certainly one of the most expert and well connected people on the planet for something.

So much of not getting eaten by change is simply accepting that you feel absolutely bonkers an enormous amount of time. Learning to live with it isn’t as easy as it looks

If you are lucky and smart and open minded a straight line can appear through what was other completely disparate things. It’s funny that we call putting a line through things regression right? Simplifying things is funny like that.

Learning to act when you see a through line is almost all of the battle. “Noticing things” is only useful insofar as it something you take action on.

I felt as if I had no clear path at all yesterday on anything and then today I did. I didn’t see some kind of perfect Delphic vision of the future. I just realized that work I’d set in motion three or four years ago has yielded results and if I was able to keep going with other people who saw it too then I had done what I could.

Categories
Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 1192 and Stasis

I am not feeling well today and used all the capacity I had to simply push at the edges of my universe and scream a bit into the abyss.

Screaming into the abyss is my pet name for being on the internet. Mostly Twitter. I know it sounds stupid.

Sometimes there are actual people on there still which is a small comfort. Just telegraphing into the universe that you are a “live one” is half the battle of bringing the future into the present.

I know it sounds like a stupid way to bring in resources and deals and alliances but it works. Make of that what you will. I’ll get on a phone call now and again if you are really compelling and intelligent. I spent some time on the phone with one of my favorite people and it was more energy than I would have anticipated.

Sometimes that’s just how it goes. There is only so much you can do when your time horizons for results are measured in a ten year cycle anyway.

It’s occasionally embarrassing to admit there are days I don’t have the energy to manage what what I eat, how much I exercise, whether I bath or do farm chores or otherwise manage the work of physical reality.

A few days of the month I do the absolute minimum to manage stasis and I honestly even that was a stretch. But like the classic Monty Python sketch of another era “I’m not dead yet!”

Categories
Emotional Work Homesteading Startups

Day 1191 and 90 Day Horizon

I feel like I’ve got a decent grip on the directions that have captivated markets and where the next decade of opportunities will emerge. My long term confidence on managing through chaos remains the same. Focus on resilience and adaptability.

I feel as if repeat myself constantly in the ways that I live this through my revealed preferences.

In more local “place” resilience we live on land we own land in Montana with our own well, water rights, and powering our energy needs off a large solar grid.

In broader macroeconomics terms, I invest in decentralized ecosystems like Bitcoin, open source software projects and compute exchanges. Hell, I was even the first check into a nuclear energy company last year. Energy and networks matter.

Yet I have no idea what I intend to do with my next couple of months or where I should even spend my time except “keep doing what you are already doing!”

I’ve come to some crossroads on my attention and the decisions I need to make in the short term feel challenging. I’ve never had more opportunities in front of me and it’s exhilarating. But I also don’t feel like it’s clear how to best allocate my attention in the very near short term.

But I also don’t have high confidence on what I should be cutting out or bringing to the forefront in the next 90 days or so. There is simply so much happening (and those effects are potentially existential) that it’s a struggle for me to say “fuck it we ball” to what’s in front of me. What ball? What am I saying fuck it to? Is it a fuck no or a fuck yes?

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Emotional Work

1189 and The Expense of Choice

One of my most American traits is how much I prioritize making my own choices. I am not contrarian for its own sake, but I prefer to freely align myself with what I value. I don’t make a secret of my revealed preferences and I am not afraid to associate with people who have different values.

We’ve had a lot more freedom of choice introduced into our lives during the Great Dislocation. Past narratives around family and work are beginning to feel more options. Paul Millard’s Pathless Path took off as work from home introduced significantly more flexibility into professional life.

Internet take-have Matthew Yglesia’s framed the problem of too much freedom around work as a Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor situation. Having a job that structures your life is a benevolent authoritarianism that people aren’t brave enough to admit they prefer.

I think this is a kind of snobbery that elites like to pretend is subversive. I’ve met many types of people from all kinds of classes, backgrounds, and competencies who thrive with more agency.

I am being exposed more often to people now who struggle to self regulate and take responsibility for their life but mostly I spend time with competent people.

This isn’t to say that structure is unimportant nor that work doesn’t provide some of it. I personally value routines and rhythms in my personal life because I’ve chosen to do more independent work outside of larger organizations. My work has to be held on course by my choices.

I won’t say it’s easy as none of my day to day choices matters in the same way that making the big yearly calls right does. I know I have to take the time to invest in myself so I can make those calls. I don’t have a wider organization setting the direction of my life or my day. So the only benevolent authoritarian is myself.

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Emotional Work

Day 1188 and Existential Stability

I’d like you to consider that our current culture of safetyism is not trying to provide you with any actual safety but rather a pantomime of one. Security theater. And this is why we see whole generations of existentially insecure “adults” trapped looking for more signs of stability.

People aren’t really looking to be economically stable before they start families; they’re looking to be existentially stable.

Luke Burgis

Luke Burgis rightly reminds us that the only existential stability that exists is one in which you make decisions and take responsibility for the consequences.

Yes, sometimes consequences can be quite dire. No, you cannot put off making decisions until you have 100% certainty though I hear the restaurant at the end of the universe has a great drinks menu. Try the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Douglas Adams “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” the sequel to The Hitchhikers’s Guide to The Galaxy.
Categories
Finance

Day 1180 and Renting Picks and Shovels by The Hour

The board needs to see that we are doing “something” and so management consultants have done a lot of paddling aggressively. Everyone is making money of artificial intelligence right? Well, wrong.

My belief is that this is a result of not having adequate developer tools at the enterprise level so no processes are repeatable or simple yet. Not for lack of trying in a frenzy of weird media panics around whether chat bots are gods or just malign spirits. Which like lol.

This isn’t something that gets solved overnight. Value accrues in strange ways to very particular forms of automation. Whether that gets bought up in bidding wars over core technologies over time or in simple breakout solutions isn’t actually as predictable as you’d imagine it. It’s very much about people who build things that other people want in reasonably reliable ways.

But right now a lot of software is being built in silly and not terribly repeatable ways. It reminds me a little bit of having been at a specialty retailer trying to figure out ecommerce and making a bunch of mistakes. Eventually the market solves it and then it demands a return on investment.

Categories
Homesteading

Day 1178 and Be Labor

Much of my work is very abstracted from the real world as I am a network state Silicon Disapora type. But I grew up with much more concrete labor in the real world. And I see how people can fear picking up skills if they haven’t had so much as a shop class.

We keep some of those skills fresh living on our own land in Montana. It’s never as much as I hope but everything from hydroponics lettuce to pickling your own vegetables open source home automation and Bitcoin mining off our solar grid is on the table when you want a project.

It’s good to tinker. Even skilled labor like electrician work and plumbing can become a hobby with help from friends and the wealth of instruction on YouTube and Reddit. And you will have opportunities to pass it along to others which builds up your community and skills.

It has become harder and harder find people who are hands on with tradecraft. A friend is building a new outbuilding on his property and an electrician quoted him $7,000 to run 30’ to a new 60a subpanel and a few circuits.

Fortunately, Montana is a state that allows homeowners to pull their own permits and do their own electrical work. So for an $80 permit fee and with some help from Alex, he can do the entire job himself for the cost of materials, about $1,500.

And isn’t that a wonderful pro-social way to learn, build and make things with others? Be the labor you want to see in the world.

Categories
Internet Culture Politics

Day 1177 and Binge Monomyths

I spent the day on binging a monomyth in service of focusing some attention on where we might be going if this is in fact a Cambrian explosion era. If you need a synopsis I’ll extract it from Twitter if I can find the toolsets. If you know the toolset please share them.

The fellowship of the ring will not doom the hobbits to torment and death

My assumption that property rights underlined some of this still stands. If you’ve been holed up in Middle Earth (me too nice place unclear though unclear if I’m a Hobbit or an elf or a dwarf or a wizard or an orc Or Tom Bombadil) everyone thinks Mordor somehow their pet theory or sin. It is industrialism or fascism or some combination of horrors because history becomes legend and legend becomes myth. I don’t know. Ask an autist.

Hug a hippie. Be kind to a hipster. But fight to the death for the hackers. Or pick a princess who likes trade disputes in the galactic empire. I can’t translate all the monomyths in one day.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1167 and Good Faith

Do you want something for nothing? Maybe that’s human nature. I try not to be too cynical.

But then I am occasionally presented with information in which I must confront that some people are in fact fine with getting something for nothing.

“We live in a society!” I scream into the abyss. Maybe I’m the idiot and we haven’t actually agreed to fair dealings. Maybe I’m actually the rube.

I don’t want to give up on my high trust ways. I am not optimizing for the best possible outcome for myself. I care quite a bit about the greater good. Maybe I’m an idiot for doing so.

But I’d rather be an idiot and optimistic than a a brilliant cynic. It makes me unhappy to consider how many people are simply happy to be presented with something for nothing and never have to contend with its costs.