How to solve problems
Made with 💙 by me (how to).
Dedicated to my family.
Note: This is my personal motivation of why I’m moving into biotech. For the How and with what structure, see:
We live in chaotic times. Everything around us is growing, changing, crumbling, being built, invented, forgotten. And in the midst of it, there is us. We are born. And all we can do is answer two questions: What's going on? And how do I respond?
What’s going on?
I've spent the last years trying to piece together the first question. Searching for patterns, reasons, morals. Exploring everything and nothing. Asking questions, talking. Living through adventures.
I’ve learned a lot in those years, and am deeply grateful for having had the freedom to explore so vastly. But still, I’m left with no answer. I have no clue what is going on. I’ve tried reason and got overwhelmed - the rational human brain can find an infinite number of things going on and still miss the pattern. I’ve tried intuition and got underwhelmed - nothingness will let you see the world, but you’re still gonna miss the exponentials. The agentic builder can’t choose how to save the world, the Taoist does not believe in trying.
Still, I think there are things going on. We live in a world, singular. People die and suffer. Institutions exist. Morality might be relative in the abstract, but it hell ain’t in the real world. In a world that has major wars going on and where hate is not yet extinguished. Where the flames of religion and nation-states still burn our children and tech bros take our empathy. Where we could do something about everything - and only the radical try.
Here are two things that I think are going on:
- Wars (of the physical, ideological, or religious sort) are negative sum and not winnable: the more one party dominates the harder the other will fight back, so unless there is an extreme imbalance, they always end in bloody trench wars.
- We have the tools and knowledge to reach robust individual happiness. These tools are not well known or distributed, but many people try anyway because the goal seems achievable.
It’s a broad brush, but nearly everyone is either engaged in the fight for the morally right thing, or they are not. But this explains the collective bleakness going on: those who engage are noticing how destructive that is. And those who believe to be separate finally feel that “there cannot be a right life amidst wrongs” (Adorno). The future has been lost, because technology did not free us from our conflicts nor our obligations.
What am I fighting for?
Without a future, we are left to play. It is a game after all, there never can be such a thing as growing up. At least if you have seen adults. But this is wrong. It is the wrong progression of games, of selecting enemies. After playgrounds and Minecraft, we should be playing real life. We should be asking, no, demanding, the future. We should stop fighting for the subjective, the nation, the God, the economy. We should start fighting for the real. Yes, you the subject have to decide what’s real. But know that it can never be the self or the other. It can never be people. It can only ever be the violence of the past.
It’s time to build.
I believe we need a third golem. Past left and right, past good and evil, past progress or enlightenment. No, I’m not talking about a “third way”. The fourth political theory is both political and a theory, so it will and has caused bloodshed. I’m also not talking about a way out, atheism, pacifism, or going to Mars. I am talking about violently rejecting the human condition. I am talking about asking what is going on, finding out it is complex, and realizing: none of it matters. Most everything is games and fogs of war.
There is only one thing that is going on:
We are born. Then we fall in love with the universe. And then it’s taken away.
So. How do I respond?
It’s hard to imagine the swords that will kill our enemies - Death, Suffering, Deception, Addiction, Moloch - but we have to try. We have to ask what shape they could have, so we can start forging. I currently think there are ~5 things we could try: AGI, abundant free energy, pro-curiosity / anti-game digital education, space colonialism and solving aging.
The first one is a double edged sword, on the one hand you have extinction (remember that I said wars can’t end unless there is extreme imbalance? AGI is that, and I think in most worlds it’s a pro monopoly technology, which ends in death of the whole) and on the other hand is an (unrealistic?) get-out-of-jail card. This seems not like a good trade-off to me, but to be honest my believes around AGI are mostly just confusion.
I will spend the next ... how many years it will take ... to solve aging. Specifically, I want to contribute to whichever venture will first achieve reliable resetting of our target morphology - making anyone be 20 years old, always. I have many ideas of how one could do that, and most of them will turn out to be wrong