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Energy, Drive, Life

i was linked to one clip of Jordan Peterson, on some specific political point, about 4 minutes long.

i watched it. i didn't love it. it's not his best work. i agreed with it, but i already knew it.

nevertheless i saw enough promise in it to find another clip, and another, and i soon found some which impressed me more and i watched dozens. and then i watched whole lecture series (not clips) and more. and i've started reading his old book and his new book.

if i'd missed that first opportunity to discover JP, i would have found him later. he's been in news articles of the type i sometimes see, been tweeted about by people i follow, been involved in things of interest to me (e.g. he interviewed James Damore), etc.

But I didn't miss that first opportunity. I took it and ran with it, energetically. I try to spot opportunities like that.

Similarly, one day from a google search I found one old blog post by Robert Spillane. The comments were moderated and my comment was never approved, and the blog doesn't get new posts anymore, and never had very many.

Nevertheless, from this one lead I immediately found his books, read some, contacted him, had some discussions, etc.

After I read FoR, I then, on my own initiative, found the author's website and went through all the links (a dozen) and read things, and some of those links had their own links with more to find (e.g. the old TCS site with maybe 50 articles was one link on DD's site), and I kept going from there by e.g. joining the TCS email group and IRC chatroom, which led to talking with DD and others, etc.


People don't pursue FI with this kind of vigor and jumping on the opportunity. This has been visible to me for many years, and I've pointed it out but that doesn't change it.

They also rarely pursue anything in life, which is intellectual, much like this. Sometimes they try a new TV show and then immediately jump on it and watch all 3 seasons. Sometimes they hear a song and listen to every song by that band. Those things aren't common. If it's actually intellectual, and requires judging something to be intellectually good (instead of fun or similar), then it gets a LOT rarer.

People get into computer/video games, and from 15 minutes of trying it out they then want to play for 25 hours in the next week. But usually that's only in a casual, for-fun way. It happens much more rarely with a serious, competitive approach to the game (usually only for people who are already very skilled and serious at some other game).


You need some energy – some caring about life and taking opportunities and running with them (and caring about reason not just "fun") – or you should not expect to get very far with philosophy or much of anything worthwhile.

Life is about doing things. Most people live in a state of half-alive, half anti-Objectivist. (Most people means you, not "other people".)


Elliot Temple on January 24, 2018

Comments (4)

If we're not very good at reason, which I am not, then spending hours and hours reading stuff isn't likely to be very useful without spending ten times those hours and hours discussing what we read on the FI list, right?

If some new person grabs our attention, should we go ahead and spend a lot of time reading/watching their stuff or should we slow down our exploring a lot so we can understand each thing better?

I can see that I "live in a state of half-alive, half anti-Objectivist." In my case it's probably more than half anti-Objectivist since I don't understand Objectivism very well.


anon at 6:23 AM on January 24, 2018 | #9478 | reply | quote

half anti-Objectivist?


FF at 6:39 AM on January 24, 2018 | #9479 | reply | quote

Am I anti-objectivist?


FF at 9:48 AM on January 24, 2018 | #9480 | reply | quote

> If we're not very good at reason, which I am not, then spending hours and hours reading stuff isn't likely to be very useful without spending ten times those hours and hours discussing what we read on the FI list, right?

most stuff is *badly wrong* and not very good to learn. skipping FI discussion *entirely* is very risky in terms of choosing something wrong. but it doesn't take much discussion to find out if FI thinks something is really crap or not, and some reasoning.

if you pick something pretty good, with some wrong parts, like JP, it's OK to learn it even including the wrong parts. it's worth thinking about and not built on evil. the ways JP is mistaken are not a waste of time to know about, assuming they sound right or interesting to you.

if you learn on your own you can expect to miss a lot. but it can still be good. you have to start somewhere. it can also be bad and fooling yourself. it depends on e.g. how active or passive you're being, how much you apply it to your life vs. just hear it, how much you think it through and analyze it vs. memorize it, how much you do targeted, goal-directed learning vs. just learn what you run into.

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#9480 I don't know what you are because you have not written much to explain your ideas. As a wild guess: yes.


curi at 11:32 AM on January 24, 2018 | #9481 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)