Writing a Better World 🖊️
“And they all lived happily ever after…”
I want to reach the epilogue of every fairly tale.
Only this time they literally refers to everyone — to all sentient beings.
All of my work is for one purpose and one alone: To one day find myself in a world where all beings are happy.
"Currently working on the 'may all being be happy' to 'all beings are actually happy' pipeline."
My best tweet
We can work towards alleviating the suffering of all, and we can have fun along the way. I write to debug our culture and improve our state of affairs.
I write in an effort to solve the problems that serve as obstacles in our quest for well-being and write as a way of solving them be they political, personal, philosophical or practical.
Mightier than the Sword 🗡️
“But wait, how does the act of writing on a website lead to the world being a better place?”
A better world to me means two things:
- More happiness and less suffering for all
- The actions we are taking to be happier and suffer less, do not lead to future suffering or death
Living better means knowing how to live better.
How do we flourish in this world without harming others or our future selves?
This is the kind of question I want to explore. I want to pursue the answers and share them with you all.
- How do we be happy in the world (without harming others)?
- How do we effectively work towards a positive change in the world (without harming ourselves)?
- How can we really know what is true in the world? How do we know what we know? (if nothing else, so we can have confidence in the decisions we make)
I want to pursue the answers to these questions along with many others of interest and share the knowledge I gain with everyone. It is my sincere wish that those that read my work not only enjoy themselves but are able to improve their circumstances and are better are to improve the world at large.
In my mind a society is the product of a culture and a culture is a product of the ideas of the individuals within it. If we improve our ideas, we improve the world.
Writing is Thinking 💡
Richard Feynman once had a fan who admired his work complement him on the quality of his notes.
“These are great records of your thinking!”
Rather than accepting the flattery graciously, Richard was responded indignantly almost as if he was offended.
“They aren’t a record of my thinking. They are my thinking.”
For me, writing is a part of the thinking process. I chase after the answer to questions that interest and concern me, and when I hit publish it is a way of sharing it with all of you. When you are in love, you need to tell the world, right?
I don't believe that there are firm boundaries between different disciplines: science, history, economics, the humanities, philosophy, mathematics and everything we do are ways of engaging with the same reality.
Being deeply interested in wildly different areas makes me a kind of translator of ideas.
Diving into the ocean of knowledge, exploring the seas of different disciplines and domains I bring back the treasure of ideas that are engaging, relevant and clear.
My writing is my thinking. With it I chase the answers to my questions throughout all our fields of knowledge and share the fruits of my search with you — dear reader.
There are three questions that I have been especially interested in addressing through my work:
- How do we know what we know (known as epistemology in philosophy)
- How do we live happily in the world (often under the umbrella of positive psychology in academia, historically this has been addressed by religion and spirituality)
- How do we solve the world's most pressing problems? (Climate change, poverty, disease, animal suffering etc; I'm especially interested in the philosophy of effective altruism)
By chasing the answers to these and many more questions and sharing my findings, I sincerely believe I can play a part in improving our state of affairs.
The progress we see in the world is downstream from our actions, the actions we take to improve it are downstream from our thinking.
May the thoughts I share here be of benefit to all.
The Future of Writing ⚡
Before I dived into the world of full-time writing, I lived and worked in tech. In fact, at the moment, to support my writing I am working as a part-time web designer and developer.
Unafraid of shiny new things, I want to bring these two fields together and really modernise the way we write.
I’m an avid advocate of taking smart notes. I’m constantly writing down my ideas day-to-day and processing them into short notes that I can access easily any time in the future. These then become the raw materials that become my published work.
My paid supporters have access to my ever growing vault of notes including all of my in-progress work.
I’ve parted ways with Microsoft Word for years now. All my writing starts out as short notes in the incredible Obsidian Markdown Editor My writing is all stored in markdown files which are all super lightweight, trivial to back up and ready to publish to web, email, Kindle or PDF at a moment’s notice.
My notes are constantly being backed up. I use GitHub, Nextcloud and Obsidian Sync which are running constantly keeping my the totality of my notes — and everything that I write –- backed up to three different places at all times.
I’m writing on a split programmable keyboard using the alternative keyboard layout Colemak-DH This means that I can type comfortably for hours without hurting my back (a split keyboard means my shoulders and chest are always wide open). I’ve taken the time to configure its software so I can do almost anything I need to with the computer without moving my hands very far — I’ve design a set of keyboard shortcuts and layers that mean I can perform almost any task I need to with very little movement of my fingers.
I’m using the Operating System Fedora Silverblue. A Linux Distribution that aims to allow the use of the most cutting edge software without the user ever having to worry about their system becoming unstable. The applications and system software are kept separate and it’s trivial to restore or repair the system if anything goes wrong. This allows me to be very bold and experimental with using shiny new software on my adventures, as I can have the peace of mind of knowing everything can be restored.
I’ve designed and developed this very website using the open source Publishing Platform Ghost (code for the ghost theme available here). The decisions behind how everything appears before you have been made by me. More than just the content of the writing itself, everything you see here is a highly curated experience.
The marketing analytics for this website are open and available for public viewing.
If you are a writer who is interested in my efforts to modernise my work, feel free to get in touch.
Want to use any of my work?
All my work is marked with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence.
Essentially, you may do as you like with anything on this site as long as you follow two rules:
- You give credit where it is due
- You share your work similarly to mine
If you would like to use anything I have written for a strictly commercial or otherwise closed-source project, please send me an email.