Things on my Mind #6

  1. It might be the case that my echo chamber self-selects for articles and stories of this nature, but there's a concerning development in today's elite class. Most of them describe episodes of dissociation more often than one should. See here and here.

  2. If you think through the implications of persistence, one can't help but search for scopes where this applies. One that has intrigued me this week is music. Specifically, what are the cultural effects of types of music? The most popular and clear example is Scotland being a wind culture with the bagpipe as its most dominant piece of its musical history. Nigeria (especially the Yoruba tribe) is largely a percussive music culture. What does it say about them? Further, as generations change, the dominant instrument also changes. Can we get anthropological or sociological insights into that specific culture? For example, in the United States, the keyboard (or piano) gave way to the guitar and the electric guitar(...really flexing that history of music in America knowledge.) All interesting questions I hope to get more information on. Feel free to email me with information if you have any.

  3. Love is inherently tragic, but we all have to live a tragedy; we almost choose to live that tragedy. Shakespeare understood this more deeply than any human I have encountered.

  4. Debt is such a pernicious thing. This is one of the cases where the aggregate should not dictate the micro. Understand that the American economy runs on credit, not debt (this is a laughable statement, but applies here nonetheless.) There's a difference between debt and credit. Credit essentially means borrowing on (or from) your future earnings. Debt itself implies the amount of money you owe a person or entity. It is crushing, and unless you have a means of getting out of it, it can be a vicious cycle. There's considerable risk with credit as you could lose your future earnings through one avenue or the other. Still, with credit, there's justified hope. Debt, on the other hand, without hope, is a crushing weight of lack and with no end except that of the goodness of another's heart. Meaning, assess your situation and be sure before you go borrowing. Just because the country does it and other people you see do it does not mean you should. Tread carefully.

  5. Society places a check on our excesses. These excesses are not necessarily theoretical as much as they are deep drives in our nature. For example, staring at someone in public. As much as we would love to do so, we usually look away at our feet in shame if we get caught. The same applies to other impulses. Interestingly, society does find ways to properly channel these impulses. On things like staring, we construct elaborate movies and tv shows with budgets that cost 100x more than my net worth just to have them be shown in theaters where you can stare, in the dark, as much as you want and for as long as you want without having to look away.

Certainty rating: 76%


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