It's that time of year! My top 23 epiphanies, realizations, reluctant admissions, and random thoughts for 2023. Scroll to the end of the thread to see my 22 from last year (and my 21 from the year before).
Here they are (plus a few extras perhaps), in no particular order:
1. Reading through Twitter, I've noticed the most maddening tweets are often ones that feel like older versions of myself from 5/10 years ago.
Change is painful—especially when you see others making the same mistakes you already did.
2. You are probably more the benefactor of hate than the victim of it.
Most everything you enjoy and take for granted today is the result of many people who came before you hating things enough they were willing to fight and die.
3. Make friends quickly. Enemies, slowly.
4. Ignorance may be bliss for some, but it can be misery for others.
The fool believes he knows much, while the wise man understands he knows nothing. Put another way, the more you learn, the harder it gets. The more you realize there are things you may never understand.
5. An inevitable side effect of “progress” is complexity. More bureaucracy. Less independence.
Professions which people used to enjoy have been ruined by the red-tape of procedure. Doctors, teachers, you name it—most people seem to no longer enjoy their jobs.
6. Just because you’ve chosen your servitude doesn’t mean you’re not a slave.
7. It’s time for poetry.
Poetry is a great medium for expressing what feels otherwise inexpressible. The drama & stress of the past four years of world events have put us in a place where blogs, books, and tweets often can't convey what we feel. That means it's time for poetry.
8. Nuance is a luxury of peace.
Twitter is full of nuanced discussions about the merits of this or that ideology, religious belief, or moral inclination. Enjoy them while you can—everybody's friends in the foxhole.
9. Feast and famine are the natural cycle of change. Check your pantry—we’ve been eating well for a long while.
10. We weren't meant to live in darkness—everyone knows that. We also weren't meant to live in silence, something people seem to forget.
Houses, offices, & buildings in general have glass everywhere to let the light in, but nothing to let the sound in. I tried to figure out why I enjoy fall and spring so much and realized it's because I can open the windows and *hear* what's happening outside.
People could sit in the dark and be okay but are said to quickly lose their mind in complete silence. Our houses and offices are built in such a way to create this problem. I'm looking for a good solution to this problem—bluetooth outdoor microphones, basically.
11. The control of money is the last true source of man-made power.
Look for precious metals, crypto, and even barter to be mercilessly demonized—that’s how you’ll know we’re nearing the end of our current fiat currency.
12. There’s a giant chasm between opinions and convictions. History is written by those who can cross that divide—people who can move past simply having opinions and into the bright red world of conviction.
The world is full of Monday morning arm-chair quarterbacks.
13. Increasing the sophistication of artificial intelligence requires increasing levels of human intelligence. But increasing levels of AI is creating decreasing levels of human intelligence.
This paradox is why I think the threat of AI to humanity will eventually collapse.
14. The happy medium is nearly impossible to find. Overcorrection is the rule. Car accidents frequently happen on the opposite side of the road the driver initially ran off.
15. Immigration is so rampant, most future wars will likely be considered “civil.” Instead of trenches and artillery shelling, we’ll see more list-keeping and assassinations.
16. White supremacy and white privilege are two sides of the same coin. One’s an admission, the other, a confession.
17. Unity comes more easily with a common foe than friend.
The political left is defined by what it hates. The political right, by what it loves. Wars don’t run on love. Wars have never been won by love.
18. The U.S. government/economy is driven by two things:
1) Conjuring money from thin air
2) Conjuring military conflict from thin air.
Don't worry. When the money printer won’t go “Brrr” anymore, the war printer will.
19. Computers, algorithms, and undeveloped humans can look at people, examine events, even discuss ideas. They can say what IS or IS NOT.
It is the elevated human—that nobility which distinguishes us from animals—to say what SHOULD or SHOULD NOT BE.
20. Experience is the collective wisdom from having made mistakes. That’s the value of experience. Successes are great but are much more difficult to learn from. The sting of screwing something up is difficult to forget—it continues to teach and reinforce for years.
21. Politics may be downstream from culture, but culture is downstream from strong men willing to enforce stigma and shame. Everything else is just window dressing.
22. Conflict avoidance can be a useful feminine trait but may end up destroying far more lives than nearly anything else.
Go ugly early. You pay now, or you pay later. And it’s always more expensive later.
23. Correlation doesn’t equal causation. For a while, at least. Then, suddenly, it does. The transition from science to religion is often nearly seamless. Most can never even tell it happened.
That concludes my top 23 realizations, epiphanies, and reluctant admissions for 2023. I hope you enjoyed them.