The day I will become a millionaire

You’ve likely already found or at least seen the very best things (whether you know it or not). Make them count.

I’ve always wondered about the use of this information. DHH is not the first nor the last, as he himself says, to somehow disseminate this information “through clever or modest-profound” ways. Why do rich people feel the need to inform us the rest that there is no holy grail on the other side of “the curtain”?

If one is poor, as DHH says too, basic needs will trump any idea of buying a Lamborghini. These advice are for us, the well fed, properly clothed, educated, essentially “not rich” people, who apparently already have all the good things in life, but are keen on ignoring them.

But, in my opinion, we, the not rich people, know the best things in life are free. I can hardly find a more touted truism: money can’t buy happiness. Everybody knows that. Its like a huge confusion here: most people on planet Earth are sane, good, nice folk. Sane, good, nice folk do not expect money to define them. Sociopaths, assholes, “those who might contemplate giving up all manners of integrity, dignity, or even humanity to” get rich, are a humble small minority, and most definitely they will not read such information nor be impressed by rich people explaining their self away.

I wonder, is it some form of justification that not everyone is Elon Musk? Is this advice a way of justifying not living up to the opportunity wealth really provides? Otherwise, why would one, an otherwise nice person, who has what so many people want, feel like doing a good thing by taking the magic out of it, with well crafted, modest, assertions? I feel it is like having two good arms and going to someone who only has one and explaining, as good as you can, that having two arms is not as great as they think. And all while being modest about it: describing how it is actually really great, but just not as great as the one armed person thinks it is. Does that help?

Money buys time, time equals freedom, therefore money buys freedom.

This. For a human being, a primate that has no way of explaining why it exists, but who is constantly conscious of its temporary brief and absurd experience, there is not one single more precious thing than freedom. Freedom comes from owning your time. That is why our social punishment is called “doing time”, not so much doing “deprivation of freedom”. As humans, we have intelligence and we have some awareness. These two can take us about anywhere. But we lack time. Because we lack time, freedom is the ability to enjoy every hour of our time, no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways.

Again, this is what money buys: the ability to enjoy every hour of your time, no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways. Money buys your hours from life itself, or from society, or sometimes even from your biology.

Privilege doesn’t replace wealth.

Then there is this form of guilt or pride, depends on the individual, that equates privilege with wealth. They are not the same thing, at all.

Privilege does not beget freedom. Privilege begets benefits. Benefits are nice. That is why it is hard to acknowledge privilege, because the privileged does not feel any more free than the underprivileged. But look at benefits and then it becomes clear!

Wealth does beget freedom. If we’d be eternal beings wealth would not matter. But as limited in time as we are, we should seriously consider getting rich. Getting rich is a good and worthwhile life goal. Just like all other worthwhile life goals, not better, but definitely not worse.

Yet, denying wealth’s power to beget freedom appears as part of a human behavior. Happily married people tell sad single valentines that marriage is not all milk and honey, and that they should enjoy their lonely Christmases more. All while basking in their blessed coupledom, feeling safe in death because their offspring make them feel like the future is ahead. From top CEOs explanations pour down the organization chart of how success is not the pinnacle of personal achievement. All while blushing at the embarrassing disparity between their world recognition and the iron anonymity of the folk doing the actual work.

This is crazy, but still better that trying to wipe off the light around wealth. Even religion had to cope with it, from Rockefeller’s famous “God gave me money”, to the Protestant work ethic which, more or less, reflects accumulation into salvation.

Money do not define yourself. You define yourself. Money do not create happiness, you create happiness. But money do help carving out diverse self defining experiences. Money do help in the endless fine tuning that happiness requests. It is that simple: non particular happiness is enlightenment, non experimental self actualization is transcendence. Enlightenment and transcendence have very little to do with money, but all the same they have very little to do with the social normative imprinted on you, and expected from you.

The day I will become a millionaire I will encourage everyone to become one too. I will explain, first hand, about the opportunity to live life to the fullest for real, not the lobotomized advertising idea of it. I will tell my fellow humans about the true direct visceral experience of being free to reach your beautiful human potential.

The day I will become a millionaire I will not shy away to inform that you’re likely not to have found, nor seen, the very best things (things you know about) and wealth does definitely help in making your life count.

how to be happy

happiness is so darn particular. happiness is when you do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people etc.

we could discuss what happiness means for ages. that is not because the subject is complex, but because it is so subjective, that everyone has their own opinion about it.

yet, here is an universal recipe, that is guaranteed to fake happiness in an indistinguishable manner:

  1. Enjoy getting old
  2. Accept death
  3. Trust uncertainty
  4. Expect disease
  5. Reconcile with illness
  6. Dance.

Enjoy getting old

you will always be just a child inside anyway. not much to do to help that. but your body will get old. enjoy that. that difference of how you feel on the inside with how you look on the outside.

what is age but a number?

Accept death

you will die. and it is not going to be at 100. most likely you will die at about 88. but that is only if you reach 60. And that is only if you reach 45. And that is only if you reach 38. Which is only if you reach 25.

All probabilities in life expectancy compound.

But the bigger fact is that you are already dying. You’re in a head first collision course with death and every hour gets you closer to it. Put it in the right perspective. don’t think in minutes and seconds. think in hours so that you can grasp the speed at which you’re currently dying.

just constantly remember death, because your deluded brain thinks it’s eternal.

Trust uncertainty

you could loose everything you care for in the next hour. not tomorrow like they say. in the next hour. a plane might crash or a driver text someone, not watching the road. a fuse may not work.

you may win a lottery. you may wake up to opportunity.

the reality is you have no idea what will happen in the next hour.

Expect disease

you are not perfect. you are very, very finely tuned. but that does not mean by far perfect. when shit hits the fan all your fine tuned features will fail you. and you’re bound to feel shitty, a lot. from allergies to pathogens, from autoimmune problems to absorption deficiencies they’ll get to you.

that is the reason why you should constantly remember how great it feels to feel well. just without anything in particular, but healthy enough, alive and kicking. without a product. without a partner. without sun in the sky. without a specific pleasure. just with you, feeling normal. enjoy it while it lasts.

Enjoy illness

when you get sick remember you are still alive. that is good. but remember to accept death. pain is shitty. fear makes pain worse. allow yourself to be weak while facing pain. learn to wait the pain out like you’d wait a hiccup, but always do all you can to make it milder.

be nice to those around you. now, at least now that you’re sick, stop judging people. they’re doing their best handling a weak, needy creature they for some reason love.

Dance.

The funnel of change

There is an invisible funnel that doses the amount of change that the entire humanity is allowed. It is invisible not because of magic technology, nor conspiracy or miracles. It is invisible because nobody put it in place, so nobody is aware of it. This funnel is a naturally occurring effect of the strong affinity for stability of our minds.

the funnel of change

The short story

Ever since we appeared into the world, our minds craved one thing: stability. Initially we noticed how to act on the environment to stabilize it. Then we realized internally that peers are even more of a challenge as a force of instability. So, in time, we evolved a natural way to fight human inflicted change.

Humans have a natural system that limits the effect they create on their environment. Also, this system limits the effect they have on each other. It behaves like a funnel. The system constricts our actions, ideas, projects and lifelong objectives. The result of the funnel are certain discrete quantities of change allowed at any moment.

The funnel contains systems which guard the environment from change originating from human action. The systems are: religion, conspiracy, self interest, personality cult, censorship, survival, biology and social thought. They work together and are rooted in our collective subconscious. They vary between societies by means of the dominating archetypes.

Societies are heavily influenced by this funnel. We need a way to overcome this natural limitation. The reason we need it is so that we can keep up to speed as a civilization with the pace of our technological evolution. As a solution I propose a bunch of so called vectors of change. These vectors act against the natural funnel of change. They pierce it and create new controllable streams of human change. The vectors of change are: choice, government, education, humanity, transparency, welfare, science, learning. They too can work together. The vectors have the higher goal of transforming a society’s archetypes and collective subconscious.


The long story: this is the funnel of change.

A funnel has nothing but one purpose: to prevent spillage. We do so many things to prevent change from occurring.

the funnel of change

Our environment is the big container, the chart. The small opening at the bottom is our psychological change tolerance. The funnel is the social and political construct we’ve committed all our resources to.

The funnel exists by emerging out of our collective subconscious. The human potential movement made a buffoon out of our subconscious. The sensationalist media made an enemy out of our subconscious. But in reality our subconscious is simply a part of us. And as Jung properly argues there is a common, collective component of the subconscious. We share the archetypes as members of the same species.

The funnel works by creating systems. Each system is a design put in place to limit possibilities. By limiting possibilities we get a limited set of probability functions. A limited set of probability will produce a small set of events, hence little change.

The cause of this funnel is our intelligence. Intelligence is the perception of time. It appears in a brain whose primary mission is to predict the future. What the future constantly brings though is change. The problem is that at some point in evolution humanity acknowledged that a human is a factor of change too. This is our perception of the time traveler’s paradox. We want to predict the future but we keep altering the present. Thus we must control the way we alter the present.

So, to ease our efforts, we have developed innate ways of limiting change that we inflict on the present. These ways make up funnel of change. It operates through systems created unconsciously by humanity throughout its entire existence.

I have named the systems with pretty bombastic names on purpose. They are all encompassing terms that describe a generic way of functioning for the funnel’s systems.

Religion

The work of humans since the dawn of time has consistently included explaining everything. For “everything” to comprehensive we required a system. This system allowed treating “everything” as a single thing: religion.

Worth noting that I am not talking about God, or Allah, or Shiva or other supreme deities of the world. I am talking about religion. Religion is basically the first science of man. For the past ten thousand years we keep slicing religion. We take thicker and thicker slices, and process these slices into real science.

We have an ingrained social conditioning based on religion. This is because religion limits almost all sudden change that humans can produce. Since birth, children and infused in this omnipresent and omniscient substance that nobody explains. We have intimate supervision of our self towards our self. This is the first system of limiting change and it works very, very well. Religion acts upon people since birth and throughout the entire childhood. In doing so it creates the biggest artificial part of our personality.

Conspiracy

No theory here, no tinfoil hats. The conspiracy is the system which tells you that in essence you cannot do much. Its the system that explains how all the rules are already in place. As you were born you found the world in a certain state. The conspiracy is how our collective subconscious sees our ability to change the world.

People give up being active members of society early in life. This system is active in the teenage period. It only spawns into full active mode sporadically later in life.

Self interest

There is a point when one literally puts themselves first. The literal part is a problem. This is like an innate fear of missing out. The basis of this pattern is experience as explanation. It is the system that limits adult change in small societies. We are not involved in changing society, because we constantly seek our self interest.

This pattern is the basis of the human economic behavior. The human economic behavior is a change limiting set of actions. This set makes us adhere to a set of preset expectations from one another and ourselves. The set making up economic behavior is all centered on self interest.

Personality cult

You are not special. Elon Musk is. This system glorifies the ones who somehow break the funnel. These rogues then spill out large amounts of change into our environment. To contain this, we devised a system of investing humans with special abilities. Of course we don’t have them, only they do.

The personality cult pattern is the foundation of the culture of heroes. From ancient demigods to modern day pop stars and fame flooded CEOs. It is all about how they are simply better than everyone else.

No one is better than everyone else. We’re all sweaty and smelly at times and mean and stupid at other times. Some of us exploit opportunities, that’s it. Opportunities are cracks produced by environment into the walls of the funnel of change.

Censorship

Almost all human provoked change comes as an effect of information. Censorship is a system which limits access to information. Not in the sense of hiding bad deeds or not even in the sense of ideological censorship. The censorship system is the natural drive to conceal information. We do it because we worry that others will use it to cause deep shifts in the order which we are used to.

Survival

Taking nature as a model of behavior is the easiest way to ensure that we’re not producing too much change. We copy what works.

The survival system has held back human progress the most. Imitating nature was the core limiting factor of human societies since the dawn on man.

The more alone and helpless an individual, the more self centered and less empathetic will be. In barring the peers, the human opens up to old evolutionary tricks such as blending in. Imitating nature never suited well the expansive homo sapiens species. It created among others the bias of prejudice.

Biology

We must reproduce. Never forget that. Reproduction is so important that it limits change by chemical means. Biology will limit change by inflicting an endocrine reluctance to producing change. In our subconscious, the most important drive for reproduction is the fear of death. I mean reproduction, not sex. When the urge for progeny appears it is an all encompassing sentiment. This sentiment reflects the whole palette of human existential crisis.

Social thought

This completes the circle. Religion infuses our life with a permanent guard in the shape of godly figure. Social thought inflicts limitations on people by over exploiting right and wrong. Social thought defines what we call normality, acceptable behavior, expected behavior and so on. We relay this to our children through stories and early education.

This system takes its toll not in childhood as you’d expect but very, very late in life. Then it blocks the elder from declaring openly what their experience has been like. Elders must fight the social thought system inflicted during their early childhood years.

The main concern of this system is to explain in obvious modes why one should live. It is a system that constructs motivation by lowering fear. It lowers fear through an imagined ideal environment and make believe.

The vectors of change.

We must poke holes into the funnel.

This funnel provided by our subconscious has a problem. It works great for adaptation but it fails miserably for evolution. For millenia we humans seem to adapt just fine. But we hardly evolve. And I do not mean it in a biological sense, but in a cultural one more so.

We are either fat activists or starving activists. But for evolution we need normal people to be activists too. It is the only real way in which we can ensure true evolution. True evolution comes from change and novelty. Thus we should allow instability in our lives more, and be prepared to evolve, not to adapt.

evolution vs adaptation

In order to defeat ourselves we need a controlled perforation of the funnel. This perforation is a way of targeting the systems in place by transformative actions. This perforation will create a controllable flow of change upon humanity. This will help our exponential technological growth match the growth of our culture.

anti-systems

My proposed perforations, are typically not opposite systems but transformative ones. I call them vectors of change. We do not want to break the funnel, we need to exploit it. Breaking the funnel of change results in true, non romantic, non libertarian, but true, deep widespread anarchy. We can’t handle a world without the funnel.

Choice

Atheism doesn’t bypass religion. Atheism refers to a name, a subject of religion. God is not the core of religion. Man is the core of religion. As long as atheism does not deny Man, but God, it will not bypass religion.

Religion is vulnerable not to blunt approaches such as extreme rationality. If that is all that occurs, one god shall be replaced with another. But religion is vulnerable to free choice. We mush strive to create a society where freedom is God. Freedom is the awareness that there is something always with us. Omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent freedom which gives us more freedom, a true life enhancing perpetuum.

Every single liberty earned and freedom won is cracking the system of religion. For example, decision over giving birth, sexual orientation or choice over one’s beliefs. All frameworks of free choice are a change vector against the system of religion.

Government

Libertarianism is broken by design because it lacks solutions. Homo sapiens is not built for anarchy either because we naturally devise and favor order. Therefore we must strive for quality government.

Government is the perfect solution against the system of conspiracy. It is the counter system that tells a society that nothing is but a convention in which we all participate so we can all do better.

A government which is by the people solves some of the problem by empowering the individual. A government which is also for the people solves it entirely because it also empowers its society.

Education

Education in the end cools off economic behavior. By expanding one’s ability to have holistic approaches to life, education fights and cracks the self interest system.

Specialization is probably the worst enemy of education. Specialization, and the needle thick business one in particular, lowers holistic abilities. It lowers them even below an uneducated human’s because it presents as a solution to all problems.

An educated human does not search for disconnected solutions to connected problems.

Humanity

It is easy to notice the cult of personality, for example in Silicon Valley. Even the most touted meritocracies will produce “supreme beings”. These beings dwarf all others. A humanistic approach reveals the shine of the individual and the common ground between all humans.

The goal of working more for humans than for other inanimate things is to increase self esteem for every society member. This counter system works well combined with education. While general education provides holistic abilities, a humanistic approach will offer global skills.

Transparency

Universal access to information is a nice ideal. We need secrets. Transparency is not about sincerity, but about honesty.

At the human level we have this play between sincerity and honesty. You will be honest to your neighbor but you tend to be sincere to your wife. Sincerity and honesty are not the same thing, they only sound similar.

Sincerity is a scalpel. It is very sharp and can make cuts which need sewing to be closed. Honesty is a medicine and it can heal without incisions. Metaphors. Our only escape when we don’t like the reality which we find.

Transparency means: explaining, accountability, debate. Good transparency is focused on the unique effect of generating trust. Whether we like it or not trust is the basic social currency.

Welfare

We need a welfare society, not a welfare state. There is a profound difference: we need to nurture humans, not citizens.

Nurturing humans means both political and economic actions, not only economical systems. The larger goal is to dissipate individual states of loneliness and helplessness.

Science

Science has the unique ability to transform the human species integrally. Therefore the biologic system is potentially shattered to pieces by a concerted scientific effort.

For now the funnel of change will only get small holes from science as a change vector. By the time change flows through the funnel into the range of science it is only a small trickle left. So science has to work with what is given and defer the fear of death to a far future, then wait for better times.

Learning

This vector of change is probably the only individual one. Learning is the antidote of social thought. Lifelong learning will allow stronger introspection. Introspection clears up the deep childhood formed patterns of the ideal imagined world. This introspection brings into the light the vagueness and randomness of human social conventions.

Learning heals guilt.


One last thing: the silent monologue

Society is autistic. It repeats a theme owned by each of the systems in the funnel of change. The repeating creates a monologue. This monologue is present in a human’s life from the day it is ready to make sense of everything, to the day when it stops making sense of anything. Society has little to do with life and death, its all about making sense of existence.

The monologue is a series of imperatives with no reply ever heard back:

— Religion says a higher power is in the heavens. — Conspiracy says the higher power is on earth!

— Self interest says you are what matters! — Personality cult says you are not special!

These ambivalent affirmations produce angst.

— Censorship says we know better!
— Survival says you know better!

— Biology says you will die! — Social thought says you will live!

These dissonant affirmations produce anger.

The monologue keeps people on a permanent edge of angst and anger. In this way all societies are prone to panic whenever pain appears.

All the vectors of change propose a dialog. The dialog is between humans and the society they instinctively create. The dialog heals the autism of societies. It also lowers the panic probability in case of catastrophic failures or events.

— Religion says a higher power is in the heavens!
— Choice responds you have power!

— Conspiracy says higher power is on earth!
— Government responds you give power!

— Self interest says you are what matters!
— Education responds what matters is greater than you!

— Personality cult says you are not special!
— Humanity responds you are unique!

— Censorship says we know better!
— Transparency responds we are learning together!

— Survival says you know better!
— Welfare responds you are allowed to make mistakes!

— Biology says you will die!
— Science responds you will live!

— Social thought says you will live!
— Learning responds life is worth living!

Indeed, life is worth living!


Thank you for reading and please recommend, respond or share. I am curious to know what you think and any input will find its way into future revisions of the article. Find me on twitter @andraganescu.