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// status: draft

It takes a considerable effort to merely go along with the flow of modern society. If one is married with kids, has a job, and has any friends at all outside of work, that's pretty much 100% of one's time.

I know many who have stopped reading, searching, or introspecting to a large degree. They have shifted their life from offense to defense, lost their growth mindset, and are merely reactive in the majority of their life.

Existence shouldn't be an optimization function for comfort, or wealth, or whatever else is generally meant by providing for one's family. That is the floor for a good citizen, not the ceiling. Human flourishing requires great work and principled leaders. Very few of my peers have real principles they can defend, although many will dogmatically parrot the idealogy-of-the-day.

It's too easy not to have principles. It's common for my friends to think they must have a 100% solid understanding of the universe (which is impossible) before they can responsibly influence the world around them. The only way for this attitude to be helpful is if the people currently steering the ship have attained such enlightenment -- and I've never heard this argument about our present reality.

Therefore, inaction is inexcusable. It's time to clearly define & develop principles, then live according to them. I'll start with my current principles, analyze the principles of my heros, and then do some thought experiments.

My current principles:

  • Connect my religious calling with my daily work (no more fragmentation)
  • Chase value, not wealth (building > trading)
  • Share information by default
  • Make things more approachable
  • Encourage others to build, don't scare them away from it
  • Explain complicated things simply
  • Anti-gatekeeping... fling the doors open

Not all of my heros lived by principles. Steve Wozniak, for instance, seems to have simply optimized for doing interesting things he was good at... but he did them with excellence. In retrospect, there is a principle there.

Jesus Christ had many principles, but he mostly shared them through parables. This resulted in timeless applicability of his lessons, which are harder to misinterpret later.

Aristotle sought the truth above all else, and refused to compromise or lie, even to spare his own life. But he wouldn't just not compromise -- he felt it was his cosmic duty to actively evangelize the truth.