[Previous] What Philosophy Takes | Home | [Next] Sunk Costs

Humans Matter – Post and Podcast

I've been making podcasts. I made a new one:

Watch: Humans Matter

This post is the thoughts I wrote before podcasting.

Human beings are amazing. They can be powerful, wise, and accomplish great things. Most people don't think of themselves that way. They're kinda shitty and they've accepted that. Kids think they will be awesome later or never. Adults wait tables and know they're nothing great. People think greatness is for a few great men, geniuses and giants, and they don't know how to be that. They think it just happens, somehow, and if it doesn't happen to them well, so what? They don't pursue greatness. Sometimes they talk about passions and dreams and then ... start a restaurant and cook some food. What about science? What about big ideas? Yes lots of big ideas are dumb and impractical. So make good ones! That doesn't mean there can't be good ideas, it means more people need to work on it. Like you, not someone else!

People need meaning and responsibility in their life too. They need to do something that matters or they won't be happy. They may pretend they're happy and have some short term pleasures, but it's not fulfilling. They might cope, but they could be a lot happier. (They might possibly even cope without drugs – including recreational drugs, prescription drugs, psychiatric drugs, painkillers, alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and caffeine.)

People don't tell their kids they're sacred and have a divine soul, that they are demigods who can move heaven and Earth if they want to, and learn enough (knowledge is power), and run their life efficiently and keep up with solving their problems (rather than taking on new problems faster than they solve problems, which is what most people do, and then they get overwhelmed and start lowering their standards and trying to cope with a chronic situation of suffering through many unsolved problems).

Especially today, in our secular society, people don't think human beings are special. But they are. A single person is like a whole species. They're unique. Elephants are a unique animal compared to cows, but individual elephants are all the same thing just like two iPhones are fundamentally the same (even if one is a bit older and slower and has a unique scratch on it).

A human being is a universal knowledge creator. That means they can learn anything that can be learned. You have that capability. Your child has that capability. That's your birthright. Humans are born with tremendous potential.

People come along to FI and say philosophy is hard, they aren't super into it, blah blah blah. They are wasting their lives on petty things. The universe is a big place. People should be exploring the stars, harnessing nuclear power, understanding the multiple universes implied by quantum physics, programming AIs, curing cancer, curing aging, automating all the easy and boring jobs to rescue billions of people from manual labor and drudgery, and understanding reason and morality better and better.

People aim so small. Want to earn a few hundred thousand dollars? Why not a billion? Seriously. Create something great which creates $100 of value for 10 million people that didn't exist before. That's a billion dollars. OK OK, charge them half, so you make half a billion and those 10 million people are all $50 dollars richer (half a billion in total). You want to help people? Do that. You think that's totally unbelievably impossible for you? Why? It's easy to make a website which can handle 10 million visitors in a year. You can reach 10 million people if you want to, and they want to.

A hundred dollars isn't much. There are over 10 million Americans who have more than a hundred dollar problem with how they eat. They endure thousands of dollars of suffering, human scales, food scales, calorie counting, buying things, forcing themselves to exercise, wasted gym memberships, etc, trying to diet. They eat things which cost more, taste worse, and are counterproductive. There's so many big pain points in so many people's lives.

Elliot Temple on June 23, 2017


Want to discuss this? Join my forum.

(Due to multi-year, sustained harassment from David Deutsch and his fans, commenting here requires an account. Accounts are not publicly available. Discussion info.)