Had a great conversation last night with a friend of mine who is a trained philosopher. I was telling him all I'm building - working on science, entrepreneurship, writing, building a family, and so on. He asked, "Why do all that?"
And I think the best answer is because I like humanity. Humans are cool. Oh, there's some knuckleheads, heck maybe there's even more knuckleheads than there are really cool people.
I'm really, really grateful to the scientists and engineers and inventors and builders and artists that came before us. We'd be living in forests and jungles and caves if it weren't for them. And I'm grateful for the long line of my ancestors that survived and thrived to lead to me. I figure some of them must have lived under really desperate circumstances, gone through all sorts of struggle and strife and misery, but they still were able to have and raise their children that eventually became my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, and so on. If one link in that chain isn't there, I'm not here. So, wow, I'm so grateful for my ancestors doing that.
So I'd like to pay it forwards. I'll build some stuff that will be used in our lifetimes, and then will help all generations henceforth. I'll have some children and help build the next line of humanity, and all lines after that.
I like building. I like humanity. I'd like to see us grow and thrive and expand. I can't really think of anything else I'd rather do with my time.
> Pilots, soldiers, and international businessmen travel. I talk to them and learn how it goes
Those people may have family but have plenty of mistresses too. They could of have different mistress in different city. This concept is acceptable in some culture, especially in a society where rich man has too much power. Most of these men's wife also know about this but they are quite likely depend on their husband. I seen some of these family, it works- you are quite right. I also seen some women in asia after finishing her Phd, decide to quit her job and staying at home to look after children. Or many of them try to get a good degree just to get a good man. This is fact. In Western culture, it doesn't happen like that or not at that degree for several reasons: the women has almost equal opportunity with man when it comes to career; culture value evolves that has put women in the most powerful position in the history. Most of women I know will not accept the concept above, they left their husband soon after they found out about the mistress. The percentage of divorcing case is incredible high in the EU, the people make profit from it are lawyers after all.
However it is very nice story about your family you told, unfortunately society has changed dramatically in the way man and woman think and want. I m not here to judge, just mention some fact that we all know. Although I quite agree with you that chemical love is dangerous, as we all know that already. Duty still seems not a good enough tension in modern family.
Heidegger is the most important philosopher in the 20th, the book we all know is ' Being and Time' define the significant idea of dwelling, thinking and building which inspires major modern philosophy. It is a mental book to read, I only use philosophy as debating tools. My researching field is not of what we have discussed but inspired greatly. Thanks for great conversation. I will check out your book.
I do know why you doing this, what I meant is, you could do a much better job as a writer. Because your story is actually very interesting, and the ideal of keep tracking your travel diary is something a lot of people do and not many do it right. I also think you are very brave of what you are trying to do: travel-business-writing are perfect combination. I myself love writing and literature, get so much inspiration from writing and evolve from it like Heidegger says' I think therefore I m'. But in every articles you wrote, there is something lacking, like food- it is not very tasty food ,just alright! You give informations more than spending time to describe it. For example, i think when some people argue with you in Luck doesn't exist, they don't quite get your point. But the way you set up the argument is already to waiting for a fight. I somewhat believe, you want to be a fighter....
I particular interested in the part you wrote about building a family and your travel to lot of difference places. Which seems very contradict to each other. How does that works? I think, you can never building a concrete family by your self without a women you love, especially while you are traveling. We all think we can but it never works. I don't think I could ever leave my kid and partner once we are all parts of a family.
I ve just found your website, very interesting blog btw. There is just some thought in general about the way you write. At first, it seems very strong and clear your arguments which sometimes can be quite aggressive for the reader but that may be the style you chose. We often call it Rhetorical writing. You raise some interesting thoughts and issues from your own personal experience that is all very well. But for me, many of those writings is deeply flawed in term of structure, therefore it is hard to understand your point, why you want to propose these arguments from the start. I m not questioning about your skill and intelligence as a business leadership or blogger. It is not my major. But it would be so much more helpful for the audience when you write about your personal life with a bit of real flavor.
I have read most of your site, and still don't know much of why you doing this. A quality piece of writing is different to the rest in the way that you engaging with your own intuition, your private world and therefore we must curious to know how you resolve the problems.
To saying that, it is not all your writing is impersonal, some parts is better than other. I feel quite moved when you describe how you see your daughter is playing violin and want to save your money in to good investment for your future kids. Those kind of details will make literature. It try to explains your objection. But i feel rather sad that there is a lot of potential in the stories you tell but there isn't enough emotions or details, you tend to skip this part. Hence it is not so convincing.
I often found the most annoying mistakes we all make when we write is that we all so afraid of telling others' what is this really about'. What I m trying to say is that ' without feeling, we are all loser from the start'.
Mike Radivis just asked asked some good questions on "Chase Meaning, Not Happiness" -
How do you measure meaning if not in terms of happiness? Aren't things that create more happiness for a longer time for a larger number of individuals better than those things who lack those qualities but are proclaimed to be personal achievements anyway? Does the scope of happiness make happiness meaningful to you or not? What are achievements good for if they aren't good at facilitating happiness? Imagine you wouldn't experience any pleasant or unpleasant emotions and would have to decide rationally what to pursue (assuming that is possible at all). Then what you want to do with your life? (Another way to formulate this question maybe would be to ask what's your grand strategy in that situation.)
I'm quite interested in your answers. I like that your blog posts are so outspoken. It's just that the message of this post is hard for me to grasp, as I'm pretty much utilitarian in my thinking.
Good questions. I'll go through it line by line.
How do you measure meaning if not in terms of happiness?
Previous birthdays never really meant much to me. At eighteen I could buy cigarettes and porn, but I didn't because I don't smoke and know what the internet is. At twenty one I could buy alcohol, but didn't because I don't drink. I could gamble, too, but had already been doing it for years online. At twenty five I could rent cars at a discounted rate. That was a little bit exciting, but not exactly a life changer.
So when thirty rolled around, I didn't expect much. And, of course, the actual day didn't really change anything, but the increasing comprehension that my twenties were over did change something. I got serious.
My first ten years were spent filling diapers, and then drawing with crayons. It's tough to expect much from a 0-9 year old, and I'm sure I just about met those expectations.
My next ten years were spent learning, mostly. I learned how to make money, how to write, how to do math, and how to speak some Chinese and Spanish. A lot of my good friends were met during these years, too. So the 10-19 age range was mostly experiencing the world and building up a collection of reference experiences to help me understand it. The foundations of who I "am" were built during these years. I became a nerd, I became interested in Asia, I neglected social skills to the point that I would later have to become a pickup artist, I gained a deep understanding of risk and reward, became an entrepreneur, and I started exploring things.