How I Think About My Life at 24

How I Think About My Life at 24:

A brainstorm attempt of getting myself in a generally desirable path

Choosing is complicated.

I remember a long time ago when I decided that life was to be lived in praise of past generations, while enjoying what they have given us. It was our duty, I believed then and I believe now, to fulfill past generation’s desires, and the freedoms they fought for.

This can be though of as a justification for enjoying the pleasures of being among the richest of the world without being socially concerned. Maybe it was. My actual reasoning was more like: There is no privilege for this moment in time, we live in here by chance, given future generations will live in a better world, I ought to enjoy what I can from mine, and instead of considering me one of the lucky ones because I am the happiest out of every 500 current humans, I should consider my-self way below threshold and average for the whole of civilization, which, so I hope, will mostly be composed of awesome transhumans, posthumans, and machines that will experience gradients of bliss while composing a world that Walt Disney’s wildest dreams wouldn’t dare to dream themselves.

The Hardest Choice of All: Should I Stay or Should I Go

If you are born after 1930 and you are a very smart ape, you realize that awesomeness happens mostly in the United States. From “The Best American Science Writings 2010”:

[Elon Musk is founder of Space X, came from South Africa, has memorized and read facts for hours a day since birth, and successfully founded many start-ups, owning millions of dollars which he intends to use to colonize space, to extend Life’s Lifespan. He’s been ignoring “you can’t do that” for 37 years now. Once, though, he was a 10 year old in apartheid’s South Africa]

“Because when children like Elon Musk attain the kind of self-awareness that leads to questions about environment – where in the world can I go for the license and room to do what I must do? Where in the world are my peers? – They always, and Still, come to the same conclusion.

Elon Musk knew when he was a child. […] Elon has had this thought, consciously, literally, at the age of ten: America is where people like me need to go. That is where people like me have always gone. “

During last year, I’ve met a fair share of geniuses in my time at the Singulrity Insitute, another place trying to extend Life’s Lifespan by a few million awesome years. I myself realized that stuff happens in the USA when I was about sixteen. The first of this autobiographical series is my first attempt at writing in English, and I was right. Been a transhumanist before everyone around me, and I was right. Mostly, choose my own paths, and I was right.

But then came along the hardest choice of all, ¿should I trust globalization and my standard of living in Brazil? , ¿ should I trust the Latino fever for social life despite the huge red sign saying “AWESOMENESS IS IN THE USA, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN”? ¿should I trust the promise of a flat world?

Life was too great, attachments were too strong, friends were well chosen, and so I stayed.

Every day, I see a smile in the mirror. It is Happiness thanking me for having chosen to stay. Oh goodness how much better is it to live here than there, specially when you were born here.

Every day, Knowledge punches me in the face and yells at me: “What Have you done! ¿Do you have any idea of what we could have achieved together? We could be Nanotech immortals with a sapphire castle on the Moon by now.

He has a point.

The choice between happiness and knowledge maps in my model of stuff very well as a choice between the mindsets of the two founders of the transhumanist movement. Knowledge is Bostrom, Happiness is David Pearce. Bostrom’s work is of far more impact, Pearce’s life is of far less Stress.

I have decided to Pearce, I decided to Brazil, I decided to Stay.

It will be long before I fathom the consequences of that choice, but it is my choice, and I’ll only rethink it when I’m thirty five.

The Most Important Things

Social life remains awesome, happiness remains striking, reading remains vicious, magic still plays perfect, girlfriend still is (good) madness and passion, the park still shines on, the smiles and friends are still the engulfing hugs of that which ought to be preserved, what is worth fighting for, and what give meaning to all the rest.

¿Has globalization worked? ¿It is possible to Stay and Do?

To some extent, yes. Networking made easier, been to one o the most important places on earth, the Singularity Institute, will work for them from time to time. Met my peers. Many and great they are. Joined a great team for making the world a better place.

For some reason ended up involved with efficient charity, not only efficient future-improvement, will try to understand this next year (¿greater likelihood of visualizing effects? Hardly what makes me tickle).

Am setting a group of efficient doers in Brazil. High impact on important issues, with both future oriented efficiency, and present oriented efficiency, are the most salient emerging goals. Have grown from 2, to 3, to five, to six without even being official yet. High hopes in the horizon.

So what has been keeping me low profile lately is…

Having made my choice of not only staying, but staying and living into happiness even if this costs the goals that younger me’s wanted to achieve, goal-achieving starts to slow down a bit. Or so it seems, only next semester will tell.

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

When I was in Syria last year this song would play (yes, in Syria) while I rejoiced the comfort of my friend’s very fancy car in the company of smart, young beautiful western ladies that only the wealthiest Arabs can ever think of interacting with. Syria, as well as Saudi, are rich man’s countries.

All my projects will require money, so has reminded me my girlfriend recently. All the money will require effort not necessarily worth it, has reminded my great friend and favorite psychologist recently. All the food, shelter, trips, health, my parents remind me. It’s a lottery to try, so say many successful start-up people, as well as sociologists of the economy.

If you can postpone getting the money, or making research while working to create institutions for the greater good of all future generations, it is worth it to give it at least one year, has convinced me a brilliant, well intended, motivated PHD and university teacher. So has said my best friend, who happens to be in France, working her way through medicine and tolerating minuscule apartment-hood in a rainy cold university city.

But oh, how hard it is to believe. Oh the lack of assurance. Oh the testosterone hitting, the male-ish desire to hold control of one’s income, of one’s life, of everything. And the obvious impossibility of controlling the uncontrollable as my psychologist friend reminds me.

Walking through the streets of San Francisco, I was convinced that to give it one year without worrying about money that much was the way to go. It seems impossible. 8 hours a week at least will go into that, or madness will interfere into the core of institution creation. After the promised Year’s end, that is when next considerations will take part again.

The Most Important Things, a Repetition in Service of Proportionality

Social life remains awesome, happiness remains striking, reading remains vicious, magic still plays perfect, girlfriend still is (good) madness and passion, the park still shines on, the smiles and friends are still the engulfing hugs of that which ought to be preserved, what is worth fighting for, and what give meaning to all the rest.