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my cultural influences

What makes a life interesting? I've been radicalized on this issue for a long time. It is the reason why this blog exists at all. I've consistently struggled to put those thoughts in writing; in lieu of an essay, I've made a list of things that say something meaningful about the time and place I live. I'll try to keep this updated.

the tags at the top right corner of this website

Ribbonfarm's The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millenial

Agnes Callard's concept of unruliness

The New Yorker on the New Left

biological improvisation (indivisibility + probability density + power set of possibilities) kills determinism

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: we operate within closed loops of meaning, the joy of Jon Bois' 17776, Calvin & Hobbes, Calvinball, The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, Transcendentalists, Emerson, Whitman's song of myself, Thoreau's Walden, many more

my experiences as a seasonal laborer for the City of Woodinville, Suburbia & suburban literature, Lynnwood, Washington, the case of the Lynnwood Light Rail, the Northline Village development, Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle, stormwater management facilities, commuter town, arterials, regional malls, asphalt oblivion, Aurora

Kafka, Brazil (1985), The Little Prince (2015)

self-deceptive fashion as empty mimicry, streetwear, low-resolution aesthetics (e.g. vaporwave/eboy/indie)

"I'm embarrassed because I'm not a real person yet."

Goodhart's law, noncompetes, fake clubs and student organizations

Wes Silvestro's the Prestige Trap, the local dependence of philanthropy on consumer tech, careerist philanthropy

"The only reason you're allowed to do that is because tech funds heretics."

LinkedIn, FAANG, asian cultural complacency, committees & activities, boba, global foodie culture

My experiences as a youth ambassador for the Gates Foundation Discovery Center, museum boxing, performative discourse, theory begets theory, SSC on internet atheism, feminism, and psuedoscience, Intellectual Imposters & Social Text, the ineffectiveness of online petitions, SSC's toxoplasma of rage, Ordinary Language, leftist tiktok, Andrew Gelman, Taleb vs Nate Silver on predictive polling, Arrow's theorem is not very profound

The Gates Foundation, Effective Altruism, Chris Kraus's Aliens and Anorexia, Simone Weil's theory of sympathetic starvation

Open source Web culture, white male Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson DIY ethos & self sufficiency, hacker news, Robbie Barrat

dude ranches, science tourism, Jeff Bezos, McMurdo Station as a tourist destination

Malcolm Gladwell, Weapons of Math Destruction, Freakanomics, Mine*, Nudge, Grit, 99% invisible.

Not just including self-help books about theories of people or everything, because Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People isn't especially temporally relevant. The above are mentioned as trends in thinking that I have actually noticed in conversation.

Read a little bit and then stop reading, don't get intimidated, (hyper)text will inevitably be presented at a saturation limit, most philosophers probably don't understand Kant, Nihilism is not bad if you're happy, Postmodernism: pretty dumb, there were very few legitimate art "movements" and none anymore

Baseline teenage literature: John Greene/Paper Towns/something? Wallflower something

Survivalist Literature as an Existential Plea

Ribbonfarm's A Beginner's Guide to Immortality

Feynman: "You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You'll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird".

Tomorrowland, nanotechnology, the end of the future, life in 2000 will be like...

Transcendent education: outer space, Narnia, Magic School Bus, museums, climate change

Transcendent science fiction: Borges on reality, possibility, linguistics, Italo Calvino on artistic expression and Invisible CIties, Cixin Liu's human computers, Interstellar, Ted Chiang's The Story of your Life

stagnation sci-fi: Interstellar, A Canticle for Leibowitz, various YA dystopian novels (fifth wave)

solarpunk without the cutesy 3d renders aka the Biosummit dream aka Ursula Le Guin's vision for harmony between human technology and human nature, 2312, the expanse

Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, to lesser extent Lois Lowry's The Giver

Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Albert Camus on society and individualism in The Fall & The Plague

Paul Graham's essays, Mr. Ramsey in To the Lighthouse, Hamming's You and Your Research, Richard Feynman's memoirs

The replication crisis, the science funding crisis, IP & drug patent law, innovation & capitalism, there is only a single transcontinental railway built in the US, the unhinged nature of the Industrial Revolution (Richard Rhodes' Energy)

Simulacra and Simulation, Bullshit Jobs, 4chan, office reddit, crypto speculators, Chuck Palanuik, Stoicism, Rene Girard's mimetic desire, ironic saturation, Chad/Virgin dichotomy, Alpha/Beta/Sigma, Greta Thunberg/Boyan Slat (Thiel fellow), the Institute of Memetics

Howl, Beat Generation, The Great Gatsby, the Situationist movement

Ayn Rand**, baseline human values, The Futurist Manifesto, Chirico

long distance running

My belief that technology does and can continue to break the hedonic treadmill. More succinctly, Universal Basic Paraglider

My belief that our baseline of happy memories are aesthetic experiences

The American Earthworks movement, yoga, My belief that low resolution QOL is exponentially worse than high resolution, deep work, my belief in working on what you're interested in

the Suburban Origami American Biotech Dream

The Least Interesting Generation

Applied Divinity Studies on Millenials as the Most Interesting Generation

Ragged Clown's 'stuff I have done that you have not probably', a prototypical example of Quora's influence on me

Tyler Cowen's The Complacent Class

The Great Stagnation

Radimentary on Exploration