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thesilv3r7 karma

Do things that are generally seen as positive within society, starting with the one that has the best ratio of impactful:effort for you. If you find that these don’t provide you with any sense of intrinsic reward, move on to the next thing on the list. If you find you get bored, move onto the next thing.

You may end up working in research, or for a charity, or as an accountant or a sewer maintenance worker. But you’ll end up doing something with the right balance of selfishness vs selflessness that’s right for you.

Or whatever, ask your mom for career advice. i dunno, I’m not the boss of you.

thesilv3r3 karma

Something I've wondered since travelling around Asia is how different the use of Bikes/Motorbikes are there, and then contrasting that to the western world when it was at a similar stage of development (at least on a GDP/capita basis). From a design perspective, how different do you think major western cities like New York would be if the bicycle were ubiquitous 100 years earlier?

thesilv3r2 karma

With his passing last week, any thoughts on David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years?

Love the podcast and looking forward to the book.

thesilv3r2 karma

I’ve been a stoic for many years and done a lot of reading of Plato, Epictetus, Aristotle, Aurelius etc. and at the end of all that reading my main question is: how do I use these philosophies to increase my happiness, not just minimise my suffering?
Aristotlean principles have helped me maintain drive, and stoic principles have helped me get through hard times, depression, etc. but I just don’t find any path to happiness/experiencing joy from them.

thesilv3r2 karma

The point on gratitude is useful, thank you. I had tried some of those “daily gratitude questions” apps but they never seemed to hit the mark, this seems like an approach which works better for me.

That said, the opening of the enchiridion where Epictetus basically opens with “every day imagine your wife and child are dead, and remember that your love for them can be replaced, because you don’t love them, you just love a human” always turned me off everything else in the treatise.

I guess what I’m taking from this is not to expect too much from the philosophies to reach “joy” beyond self improvement. The point around having good friends is important, but the emphasis on contemplation is another exercise that can be experienced in isolation, rather than emphasising that you should just spend time with your friends, work on “being present” during that time and enjoy it. In terms of Kahnemann’s two selves model, it is maximising the enjoyment of the “experiencing” self in that time, while the stoic principles seem to be maximising the enjoyment of the “remembering self” through satisfaction. Finding a balance between the two is important but taking the time to reflect now, it feels like the stoic reflections that stay present in my mind take it as a given that you will be maximising for the “experiencing self” and seek to guide you to more satisfaction, whereas I find myself sacrificing this experience (in the form of joy) to achieve more satisfaction (through exercise, learning and wealth generation/career). When I actually remember to enjoy myself (e.g. going to a concert) it makes me wonder whether I have the balance right by putting such an emphasis on “growth” in line with my stoic mindset. Anyway, not a point to address but maybe someone else here will get some value from these thoughts.