July 19, 2019•400 words
At one point, lack of freedom feels like a lack of air. It's total suffocation. But at another point, freedom becomes like air. It's something you notice only in its absence. I've become wealthy recently—a gazillionaire of time. I wake and sleep as I please, and roam space with no one to appease. Employed me, a few years ago, would fantasize almost erotically about the freedom to do one's own thing and build one's own product and answer to no one but one's own self. But like a suffocating human who at a point wishes for nothing more than air, and would be eternally grateful to receive it, freedom evades appreciation no sooner than it arrives, were you to even take notice of its presence. What you acquire, like air, like freedom, is used at once as a building block to your next desire, and so on.
Reality is a simulation in that the same story plays out endlessly. It's not you that wants freedom, it's a certain few chemicals in your mind. It's not you that wants to scale your company 10x or take on bigger challenges, it's a tempest of chemicals in your mind.
It's not that the outside world is necessarily a simulation. It's that your desires are being simulated.
Desires typically one-up themselves, so that reaching your next goal requires broader thinking and deeper strategy. Playing the desire game is what we call growth. And I think it may be beyond culture, but of biology itself. Inescapable.
If our desires are simulated, then does it really matter whether you choose X or Y, or neither? Let's say X will lead to less growth but a more peaceful life, and Y will result in a catapult towards scale but more responsibility. Does it really matter which you choose, if the desire engine runs on full blast either way?
I used to think Elon Musk was absolutely nuts for taking on such big problems. Don't you want to sleep soundly at night? But probably, most likely, I'm not too sure, him and I sleep just the same.
It would seem that if you're going to suffer either way, might as well suffer towards your most stimulating ambitions. Like Elon, your "peace of mind" seems really to be a false factor to consider in your plans, and may end up inhibiting the utility and scope of what you create.