Notes

The Absence Of Talent As A Gift

Imagine having no talent. Imagine being no good at all at something and doing it anyway. Then, after nine years, failing at it and giving it up in disgust and moving to Englewood, N.J., and selling aluminum siding. And then, years later, trying the thing again, though it wrecks your marriage, and failing again. And eventually making a meticulous study of the thing and figuring out that, by eliminating every extraneous element, you could isolate what makes it work and just do that. And then, after becoming better at it than anyone who had ever done it, realizing that maybe you didn’t need the talent. That maybe its absence was a gift.

– Alex Halberstadt, on Rodney Dangerfield

The Human Introspective Blind Spot

Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains are therefore designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to get ahead socially, often by devious means.

But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better. And thus we don’t like to talk — or even think — about the extent of our selfishness. This is “the elephant in the brain,” an introspective blind spot that makes it hard to think clearly about ourselves and the explanations for our behavior.

– Link

On Happiness

Happiness is what’s there when you remove the sense that something is missing in your life.

We are highly judgmental, survival, and replication machines. We are constantly walking around thinking I need this, I need that, trapped in the web of desires. Happiness is that state when nothing is missing. When nothing is missing, your mind shuts down and your mind stops running into the future or running into the past to regret something or to plan something. In that absence for a moment, you have internal silence. When you have internal silence, then you are content and you are happy.

– Naval Ravikant

The Frenzy Phase

Frenzy is the later phase of the installation period. It is a time of new millionaires at one end and growing exclusion at the other. The paper economy decouples from the real economy… the regulatory framework [turns] impotent. It is also a time of speculation, corruption and unashamed love of wealth.

– Carlota Perez, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital

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