Early Movements

Rereading Anathem, I think it has more connections to my philosophical framework than I expected.

The most obvious connection is storiented thinking.

Less obvious but still obvious connections are a preoccupation with secluded movements, and a desire for new mathematics.

Not at all obvious until the second reading: people who reach back into history and pull forward concepts to organize a second renaissance. Or, movement work by people who do not initially realize they’re doing movement work. Or “what it looks like when you’re fumbling around trying to build a new philosophical framework, a few years or decades before the world suddenly opens up and grasps for a new philosophical framework”.

It’s a strong recurring pattern throughout the novel, pointedly in the beginning (the timeline of era transforming events and their preceding thinkers) and the end (young characters who descend from older or dead thinkers founding a new era)

Frustratingly, the obvious, current, real life example of this critical function is Eliezer Yudkowsky. I dislike EY, but he should maybe, in some sense, be my role model.

Which suggests a path for me, tailored to fit my particular life needs (movement and personal life):

Gain small scale financial independence asap, then start talking out loud as though I have an audience and never ever stop, refining after publishing mistakes, not before. That is, first generate free time, and then use it to push thinking out into accessible territory, and pursue each of these with more or less exclusive focus, no distractions.

This is, of course, restricting to my professional life, since unlike EY, I need and want a substantial personal one which is not bent towards the big project. Particularly true since the big project is about healthy, wise living, and one of the first results to fall out of that theme is “don’t neglect your personal life, idiot”.

In fact, I will publish the above blurb as a small symbolic down payment on phase 2.