Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Projects and Responsibility

I am currently working on several projects while attempting to live a healthy life and support it through employment in an economy that is rapidly destroying life on a global scale. Those projects primarily serve my personal needs for self-expression, discovery, and serving my values, among which is the long-term survival and health of the world’s inhabitants that my lifestyle is helping to eradicate. 

Until very recently, I had some hope that my net impact on the world would be a positive one. Now I am practically certain that the impact will be deeply negative, no matter what I do before I die. The best I can do is make it less negative; that includes nurturing relationships with other people, especially those of family and friends, and is the most compelling reason I have to continue living.

My projects consist of writing fiction; sharing insights on social media; and exploring through research and simulation how actions and values influence each other in order to develop strategies that serve my values. The projects are interdependent, with shifting priorities based on what feels like the best way to spend the limited time I have for them. That feeling varies with what is in the news (mostly involving existential threats), connections my mind makes between threads of experience and knowledge, and general motivation due to a variety of other factors. 

When I’m feeling especially depressed about the future, I “help out” the denizens of my fictional Simulated News blog who are working together to deal with their own extinction crisis using a strategy derived from my research. If the stress is manageable and I feel okay indulging in pure fiction, I continue writing my second novel, BIOME. My newest book under development is an attempt to share what it’s like to live a life of accidental exploration, through the fictional experiences of someone who thinks – and learns from getting lost – like me. 

My non-fiction blog posts like this one are both personal and speculative, grounded in years of living and study as well as occasional reactions to current events and insights from my mathematical modeling of history and the future. Introspection and conflict between values and commitments to one’s culture provide a powerful motivation to write, as I’m doing here and have elsewhere. 

Weakness and strength are two sides of what I perceive as normal existence, where changing situations determine which is dominantly observed both internally and externally. In this case, weakness and its consequences are most on my mind as the world seems to be collapsing around me and I am inclined to reflect on my responsibility for it.