Elon Musk Is Making the Future Better

The world is a better place for Elon Musk. I want him to succeed… And I’m genuinely worried about his health and the stress that he’s under with his various world changing projects. In his epic interview with Joe Rogan, Elon Musk said: “My goal is to do useful things, maximize the probability that the future is good, and make the future exciting” He often frames his work by thinking to himself… “What are the set of things that I can do to make the future better?” Overall, Elon is…

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A Boring Substrate

Elon Musk offered many useful insights during his interview with Joe Rogan. One was about the probability of all of us living in a simulation. He said, if we are living in a simulation, it is likely built upon a very boring substrate. Elon used the example of filming an action movie… Watching the movie be created is incredibly boring… Not cool at all. It looks hard, overly complex, confusing and slow. But what comes out the other end is an exciting distillation of the most exciting things about being…

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Future You

If you want to make better decisions in the present, it might help to imagine the “ideal you” in the future. By envisioning yourself living the life you want to live, it can ground you in the present. Say you are having trouble doing what you know you need to do… Whether that’s losing weight, or cutting back on sugar, or stopping drinking, or forcing yourself to make cold calls. When you find yourself procrastinating, or you’re tempted to act badly… Take a moment and breathe. Imagine yourself thin, wealthy,…

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Sam Harris Dictionary: Epistemology

Sam Harris sometimes uses the word “epistemology” or “epistemological” on his Waking Up Podcast. The word epistemology is derived from the Greek “episteme”, meaning knowledge. Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, justification and the rationality of belief. The French philosopher Michel Foucault believed an episteme represented a framework of ideas, beliefs, prejudices, norms and conventions that humans use as a system for thinking. According to the book “Whiplash” by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe, Foucault believed that humans followed varying systems of ideas throughout time. He believed that evidence of human…

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Sam Harris Dictionary: Orthogonal

The word orthogonal is often used by Sam Harris on his podcast. Orthogonal is a 25 cent word that may be hard to naturally work into a sentence, unless of course you’re a neuroscientist. When Sam uses the word orthogonal, he could be using it in mathematical terms, as in the meaning “of a right angle”… But more likely he is using orthogonal when making a point in a debate about one thing being unrelated to some other thing. For instance, if you were in a debate with someone about…

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Being Alone in the Year 2020

Augmented reality is coming fast… And Apple is poised to succeed in this space, if it respects its customers’ important need to be alone. Like having my patella struck with a reflex hammer, my knee jerk reaction to any wearable computing device is suspicion. Google Glass, the information feedbag, was the worst. Idiots walking around with it on… Just made me want to punch them. Even the idea of it… Like having Facebook or Twitter notifications pinging you from the dashboard of your car, it just seems like a fucking…

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The Real Charles Xavier

Charles Xavier is a fictional Marvel comic book character, but a lot of people feel like “mutants” in real life… Persecuted. Misunderstood. Or, depending on your perspective, freakish. I can’t speak for all the freaks, but to me Seth Godin is not a bad proxy for a real life Professor X. Indeed, his dome is very shiny. He’s not bound to a wheelchair, thank God. Seth’s School for Gifted Youngsters is actually located in Westchester County (it may or may not contain an aircraft hangar). The real life leader of…

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Conflating Permanence With Accuracy

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin blockchain addressed the problem of money existing in two places at once. This Byzantine Generals problem had never been solved before… Now you could transfer digital assets to someone else, and the transaction was recorded forever. No need for a third party. The consensus was that a particular trade was agreed to and it was recorded on the blockchain as permanent. It was immutable… The concept was simple. But beyond voluntary two party Bitcoin transactions there are probably very few analogous uses where immutable permanence is needed, or even…

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In Defense of Nuance…

in defense of nuance

Have you been outside the filter bubble lately? Probably not. It’s not all your fault, though. Indeed, it seems as though the number of places where one may engage in a reasonable discussion with a stranger about controversial topics and possibly learn something new is becoming smaller and smaller… Have a unique perspective? Maybe you should dial it back a little first. After all… You may find yourself outlawed. Landmines are everywhere. Nuance is seen as a sign of weakness…. So, what do you do when you have thoughts that are…

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