Truth Whispers March 2024

Modern life is a game in which wisdom and truth whisper. The collective sum of historical knowledge is contained in the quiet dark corners of the internet waiting for perceptive enough individuals to hear it. The Algorithm contains all the knowledge needed to realize best practice technique throughout your life. But to access true timeless wisdom requires an exceptional patience and capability for ignoring distractions.

The intricate, sensitive mechanisms by which people access the good life, however they define it, do not have good marketing. Comparing the emotional experience of the Reddit front page with the experience of taking a perceptive, device-free walk through the local park reinforces this. Most people, most of the time, seem to be doing what they want to do. Violence and oppression are statistically rare and unfortunate events, but so emotionally captivating it can feel like the world is engulfed by them.

The most satisfying moments of my life have come in between the formal obligations that occupy my day. Happiness is free, but also requires being able to put myself in a position in the absence of unhappiness from lack of resources. Having kids is an example of this. To have them requires significant resources, but to enjoy them when you have them simply requires an attitude of listening closely to what they tell you. The idea that those moments are so meaningful unfortunately lacks a demand generation function. This is reflected in people’s distraction from the choice to have children leading to historically low birth rates.

I’ve been writing for over a decade in direct and indirect ways about how I have explored living a self aware life, and in the process reducing how much social media I consume. The biggest breakthrough came from removing my engagement with the types I actually enjoyed, in particular YouTube. I feel less influenced by false prophets of modern dogma, and more influenced by the design of my life. I realized that while YouTube constantly tries to find a global maximum of my interests, and largely succeeds in doing so, there is no competing global maximum seeking to create freedom and meaning.

I think people often make choices that are counter to their true desires in the long run, this is human nature and overcoming it is an immense challenge. But the framework I have been applying to attempt that in my own life increasingly centers on this idea that simplicity is actually an ongoing design process to reduce how many things distract you from pursuing truth according to your own framework. Other people are happy to sell their framework in the absence of a strongly defined one that you choose for yourself. In that sense I approach life as an orthodox liberal, taking literally the desire to be free and self actualize.

Consider what truths might be crowded out for you by the loudness of the world. Each person ultimately has a right way of living for them that can be found with sufficient diligence. My experience has been that the truth whispers for me, often requiring me to challenge my core assumptions and biases in the process. What things might bring untold meaning to your life if only you chose to listen carefully?