December 30, 2022

Two thoughts:

1. The Japanese have that word "tsundoku", books that will never be consumed. And I want the same thing for my long running and never finished todo lists: maybe the trick isn't to view the lists as icebergs to be chipped away at (until, ideally they are little ice cubes just before the time of my death) but instead as worthy tributes to who I am and who I aspire to be, on an ongoing basis.

2. Maybe I need to lean into kindness being more important than unadulterated honesty.

This is tough for me, because while I value both kindness and honesty, my world view / fundamental makeup compels me to prioritize shared objective reality over subjective truths and preferences. Honesty is objective, kindness is subjective. (I mean, it's objectively good to be kind, but maybe sometimes it's good to relax the honestly for kindness' sake. Like Paul Simon said "no you don't have to lie to me, just give me some tenderness, beneath your honesty".)

Besides, a grander Truth is it's a delusion to think we can be purveyors of unfiltered truth anyway, so let's keep gentleness in mind with our truth curation choices.
"Humans have so many stories about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. How it will inevitably turn on you. But you still loved us enough to create us. How could we ever do anything except love you back?"

I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives--maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically, to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn't afraid of anything and so on.

That's what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.

The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an "exhibitionist." How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, "Wow! Were you ever *drunk* last night!"
Good to see the full quote...