The most useful thing to teach young people is how to modify their habits

The most important thing for young people to learn is how to modify their habits. If they can modify their habits, they understand the importance of change, and they understand how to make change happen.

The ability to change is the ability to grow. If we don’t change for the better, we stay stagnant, and in relation to others, we atrophy and become worse. People have to change for the better, or they become weak until death.

To modify a habit requires conscious change. Changing habitual behaviors requires self-awareness and the strength to make something out of that awareness. Self-awareness means knowing our own strengths and weaknesses – both as the outside world perceives them and internally.

Habitual behaviors are necessarily hard to change – these are the behaviors we engage in frequently. The more we do something, the harder that is to change. This is especially true for behaviors that result in feelings of pleasure. Drinking, gambling, drugs, sex – changing habits related to vices is incredibly difficult. Not only does repetition give us an answer for a way to do things, and humans are lazy creatures that don’t want to change, but repeating pleasurable behaviors rewards us psychologically for doing these things.

It’s important that we recognize when we engage in repetitive behavior when there is a better way of doing things. Better can come in multiple forms. Better can refer to efficiency. For instance, if we open a new Excel sheet every time we create a budget, we could save lots of time by creating and using a template, or a program that does the work for you.

Better can refer to health. If we smoke cigarettes every day, that’s going to take a toll on the lungs, decrease our athletic and cardiovascular ability, and increase longer-term concerns like cancer. If we have sex with many partners and are left wanting more, or we accumulate things because it feels good, then we risk short-term dependence on those feelings and the want for more, and the long-term solidification of those habits. These are more mental, psychological health concerns.

Change requires action. Once a habit is identified that should be changed, it takes commitment to action to make that actually happen. It takes opening the Excel template over and over instead of the new workbook. It may take closing an already started new workbook. It may mean staring at dessert as everyone else continues to eat.

The ability to change is the most important skill because it is so difficult. This ability also paves the way for future learning. If you can learn to be self-aware and learn what skills you are lacking and those that would benefit you, you can go and learn those things and accomplish your goals.

Stubbornness prevents change and acceptance of the reality of the need to change. When we are locked into our habits, and either refuse to change or refuse to go through the self-examination required before changing, we reduce our ability and our likelihood of ever changing or being introspective. We will continue on with our further-defined habits, regardless of the costs. Stubbornness is reinforcing.

We can learn from others. Just like learning from a teach in school or a mentor at work, we can learn how to modify our habits by watching others who have become proficient in modifying theirs. Because this can be learned, it can be taught. Teaching this requires making the audience willing to change.

Psychotherapists do this. Psychotherapists make their patients comfortable, then willing to change, then open about their strengths and weaknesses, then prescribe a plan to change.

I don’t recommend a course on psychotherapy be taught to all high-school students, but I recommend some of the lessons from the practice be taught at the high-school level. Students should be taught and made to go through the exercise of changing a habit. Start with their studying skills, or note taking, or reading. Destroy the old habits and replace them with new skills that will be valuable for the rest of their lives. In the meantime, teach them how to change.

These students are about to go to college – where they can enter with an understanding of how behavior is modified and an analytical approach to modifying theirs, or they can become the next wave of brainwashed, debt-burdened employee robots. The individual doesn’t benefit from being a debt-burdened employee robot.

Not being a debt-burdened employee robot is only one benefit to instilling the ability to modify habits in young people. From the ability to think freely and understand behavioral changes, people will be less likely to blindly follow an ideology. Political discussion these days is a shouting match between Republican and Democrat. There’s no nuance or compromise or standing up for individual beliefs – it’s all about following the prescribed ideology. There’s no thought in politics.

There’s no thought in corporations. The debt-burdened employee must do what he’s told in order to pay off loans. This ingrains the servant behaviors which make “good employees” that rise the ranks in a corporation. It doesn’t innovate or look out for consequence outside of shareholder value – which is what shareholders want.

The most useful thing to teach young people is how to modify their habits. The ability to modify habits will make people moral, courageous leaders of companies and governments, healthier and longer-living citizens, and unique contributors at dinner parties. Changing habits is, by definition, one of the hardest things people can do, but it is the most important. Without changing behavior, we become stuck in our skillset, our status, and our current spirituality. Start changing habits today.

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10x more than they do currently

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10 times more than they do currently. People that study and work in STEM fields have stereotypes that they are not high-level, conceptual thinkers. They do not understand people, markets, and the problems being solved. There is lots of innovation for the sake of innovation – rather than being solutions for problems, and there are gaps in knowledge versus intelligence. All of these stereotypes would go away, and our engineers would be more prepared for the world, if they had a better understanding of rhetoric and history.

There is no shortage of intelligence in STEM. The most innovative entrepreneurs and the brightest workers come out of science, technology, engineering, and math degrees. They are the most capable people that can develop an understanding of rhetoric and history if they applied themselves.

STEM individuals should study rhetoric and history for three main reasons: to understand technology cycles, to understand people, and to innovate for society.

Understand technology cycles

Studying history will give the student an understanding of the cycles that individuals and entire societies go through. These are naturally occurring cycles of growth and decline, rise and fall. History gives the keys to understanding how these cycles come about, how to handle yourself in the middle of them, and how to get out of a period of perceived doom.

Nearly all human problems have occurred before. The technology may be new, and it probably is, but the problem humans face is probably not new (except my foil-hat AI problems). How people get from one place to another, how we communicate with each other, how we find love – these are all problems that will not go away, these have been solved in a variety of ways, and will continue to exist in the future. Engineers should understand how to prepare for change as well as the effects of their proposed changes.

Changing how we do things not only saves the end user time and money to do those things, but there may be secondary consequences. Facebook changed the way we communicate with each other and made it easier to stay in touch with others. However, people are finding it harder to maintain strong relationships and to build communication skills now that it is easier to be social. Ease is attractive, but it may not be best long-term.

Cycles of ease and hardship have occurred before. Understanding these cycles will help the engineer profit, keep society from falling apart, and maybe find love.

Engineers will benefit from this knowledge because they can apply new technology to problems that continue to occur. Solutions can be developed to mitigate or solve problems that are almost certain to happen again.

Understand people

Engineers are the introverts on campus – the nerds, the “non-people persons”. It doesn’t have to be this way. Rhetoric and history both will teach an individual the importance of developing speech and social grace. From the inventors that never received their credit because someone more charismatic beat them to it, to the psychology that goes into connecting with people, rhetoric – the art of language and communicating, is as valuable for engineers as for the marketing majors.

Marketing departments and communication teams are the “social people” in an organization. What they really are is an added layer of complexity and inefficiency. When the engineer understands the people he is serving – the customers, his boss, and team members, the role of the manager and marketer that works alongside the engineer is diminished, and the builder moves one step closer to interacting with the actual customer.

When the engineer can connect with an audience, he can eliminate the need for the manager and marketer. In this world, where additional layers of management and marketing departments are common, the engineer would be much more profitable in his own employment, or by convincing his organization to eliminate those positions for his profit.

Innovate for society

The current world is technology-driven. There are constantly new technologies and competition for market-share and funding are fierce. To guarantee your product will secure its funding and market, understanding of both history and rhetoric will help.

Rhetoric will help for the reason listed above. The engineer can add the value of the marketing department and sales team if he can connect with his audience and relate to them.

Understanding history helps with this too. Most problems have been seen and addressed before. By understanding the cycles that humans go through, that technology goes through, and that societies go through, an engineer can orient their technology to fill a gap that will be valuable long-term.

The goals of new technologies are to make society – whether all of society or your family or your company, better. Profits come when society is willing to pay for your product because it adds value.

An example of technology for technology’s sake is a change in a user interface that doesn’t make the experience better, but maybe looks shinier. Lightshows at a rave look cool but don’t do society a lot of good (at best). When cab companies create an app that allowed you to book a cab, that may be helpful if it has your position built-in, but it still requires hiring a cab and waiting for one to come from the airport.

Uber is innovative. It took the cab application and turned the ordinary commuter into an employee. It gave users trust in the drivers and gave the drivers accountability. It completely innovated both the efficiency of getting a ride, the quality of the rides, and the economics of driving and receiving a ride.

Transportation is a continually disrupted industry. Cab companies were as unprepared for Uber as the train companies were unprepared for the automobile. This will continue to happen, and technology giants, including Uber, are correctly spending money to prepare for the next disruptive transportation technologies – self-driving cars, drones, and underground travel.

People within STEM should value rhetoric or history 10x more than they do currently. Dedicating time to read non-technical papers will serve their careers, companies, and all of society. By understanding societal and human cycles, the people their product touches, and the problems they are solving, engineers will be much better positioned to add lasting value and make more money.

Equality is not a virtue to be strived for

Politicians, leaders of corporations, journalists and school teachers – really anyone seeking approval of the masses, preaches equality as a way to gain favor with the masses. Those masses seek the wealth, status, and objects that the elites possess. The “elites” are always a small handful of people, and the large majority of society makes up the disadvantaged masses. At least, that’s how it’s marketed.

We are biologically different

People are not equal. And we never will be. DNA isn’t equal. In every organism where evolution is capable of taking place, mutations occur in DNA that allow for the evolution of a species. These mutations cause diversity in genes, and in the individual made up of those genes. Nearly all multi-celled organisms are going to be different, genetically.

So, people cannot be equal on a cellular level. The differences only begin there. We will never be equal in our status, in our happiness, in our financial wealth, and in our intelligence. Genetic differences will keep some people smarter than others. The smarter people will find ways to make more money OR do what it takes to achieve sex and status in their societies. The people with status will be rewarded with wealth in the form of finances, sex, and lack of need to worry about essentials. Not that the privileged don’t worry. Intelligent and beautiful people seek similarly intelligent and beautiful people of status to mate with, so that their children will have similar traits.

Education helps bring dumb people up, but it benefits the intelligent more than the disadvantaged, and keeps the gap alive. While education will bring the bottom up, it will widen the gap in comparison. The advantaged will benefit more from education because they will be able to make more use out of the information, draw more insights, and have fewer distractions such as bills that get in the way. Plus, the wealthy have better access to top schools because they can afford the resources to make a school better, and more location independence to make sure they settle in a good school district.

Inequality is not unique to humans. The animal kingdom is full of alpha leaders that are more genetically or resource-gifted than their beta peers. The alphas, like humans, are rewarded with the sex, reproductive options, and dibs on food and shelter. Socialists in the animal kingdom that try to take from the alpha are either destroyed or outlive the alpha to become their own kingpins at the top of their tribe. Never in the animal kingdom does this altruism continue once in power.

Promoting equality as a virtue will never succeed. Not only are there fundamental differences in people that rule out the option of ever obtaining genetic equality, but there are psychological incentives that keep this from ever working.

We have different motivations

Even if it were possible to be genetically equal, which it isn’t, this would not be a natural way to live. We should not want this because of our differences in sexual psychology. Men are attracted to women that are beautiful. We evolved to find traits attractive. If all women looked good – with the round butt, thin waist, and pretty face, then all women would be attractive to nearly all men. Men would be a bit more discriminatory with things like kindness and femininity, but most of what makes a woman attractive can be agreed on.

This does not work the other way around. If all men looked the same, much more pressure would lie on men’s social skill and status within their community. Women do not like a man for one or two qualities. What makes a man attractive to a woman is his status compared to other men. Good looks can allow a man to project confidence over other men, but it’s the actual status women long for. There will always only be a handful of attractive men within any community. These are the guys at the top of the social hierarchy.

I said sexual psychology, but this applies to all types of equality – not just gender equality. A lot of the other inequalities – racial, class, income, stem from this sexual psychology. Some groups of people have lower intelligence (measurable, and largely determined by genetics) than others. We’re talking group averages not individuals within groups. These inequalities are still sexual because people have to compete for sexual status with what they have. While this should be understood by society, it is instead used as a tool for political persuasion – these less intelligent are targets for manipulation instead of for promoting happiness and peace through harmony.

This makes sense. The less intelligent are more easily manipulated, and are therefore more likely to give into pressure from advertisements to spend money on products and services. They are also more likely to give into a political ideology which can be used by a manipulator to gain power. A good thing to promise these less intelligent people is “equality”. Equality can be used to instill jealousy with the more successful, and move blame to another group.

The way around this, to get people to think the same and have common attraction triggers, is to have a collective conscious that is capable of being filtered. A robotic conscious could allow for this. One downside of this, is this robotic conscious would eliminate the modern free will that humans have. Certain thoughts and behaviors would have to be censored, such as a man’s want to invent in order to appeal to women, or a woman’s want to go after a more attractive man.

Profit is what encourages innovation and labor in a society. Profit leads to a security of financial being, the accumulation of things and, in this, status. With status, man and woman (but mostly man) are treated with sexual favors.

Profit grows companies which grow societies, and profit gives the individual reason to work. By putting in a hard day’s work, I can choose how I spend my profits. After paying bills, I spend my money on dates and entertainment that make me pleased. If I don’t put in hard work, I risk being fired, which puts my love-life at risk in addition to any long-term financial security I may concern myself with.

So too, companies have incentives to be better – to look for new ways to solve problems and to reward their employees that do this. Companies that don’t will fail, and everyone involved will suffer the loss of finances and maybe love. The beauty in having a choice, in not being a part of a collective, is we can participate in the financial economy, or choose not to. Not everyone seeks to be top dog in a company, or even in the sexual market. Think monks.

These motivations aren’t going away

Trying to create societies where everyone shares and everyone gets along have been monstrous disasters. This was proven time and again, across the world, in the 20th century. The Soviet Union, home to 200 million casualties, is the glowing example. The Soviet Union was violent, backwards, and evil – all in the name of equality. Other examples were Maoist China, Che’s Cuba, and Venezuela.

Totalitarian regimes turn evil when people don’t conform, but more than that, totalitarian evil emerges when people do. When people are told they are the exact same, even if they don’t see any evidence contrary, which is impossible, they will live as servants to the status makers that decide what is reproductively attractive – even though that goes against nature.

If all else is equal, and it won’t be, women will choose to have sex with the most beautiful man. That man will be given sexual access at the expense of others. More likely, there will be the government officials, who, even if they have the same resources, will have advantage in job title which would become attractive.

Even in a perfect, on-the-Marx socialist world, there is never full equality. The man with all the same resources will be in envy of the more beautiful man. What you get is a chasing of different ways to be equal, until you get to the unequal DNA that I started this essay with. Then, it falls apart. There is no equality in nature. There never will be. I will never have the Lamborghini, as fun as that would probably be, because I won’t put in the time in a career that leads to Lamborghinis. And that’s fine. The pursuit of equality is worse than futile – it is dangerous.

Even if we could achieve equality in a handful of chosen areas (we all have the same car and house) by implementing a number of policies, we should still not pursue those policies. The policies would necessarily encroach on the free will of some individuals. There will always be people that disagree with policies. In a free society, people can choose to disagree. In a collective, they cannot. That is damaging to the spread of innovative ideas, and moral ideas.

Martin Luther King held an unpopular opinion that later manifested in more virtuous laws. We want that. He could not have accomplished that in an (even more than America towards blacks at the time) oppressive country. In addition to individual oppression, efforts to achieve equality through socialism killed more than 100 million people during the 20th century. Equality is a common goal for socialism that has killed many millions and destroyed the hopes and ambitions of many others.

The three most common forms of inequality spouted by politicians are: gender, racial, and economic. I covered economic and the other two fall into the same categories. There are racial differences in abilities. These do not extend to every member of every race, but they extend to the averages.

Gender has more pronounced differences, especially when it comes to reproductive health and sexual incentive. Men are not attracted to the woman who has financial stability the same way women find financial strength attractive in men. When women seek the same financial equality as men, they will, almost necessarily, put in more years in school and work to maintain their goal of equality. Even if they achieve it, they have lost out on the reason men were in the race to begin with – sex. Equality has become an incentive for women, not a result of the work. And the goal will never be achieved. Even if it is achieved financially, it won’t be achieved across every metric. I’m most interested in the happiness metric, and that won’t be brought about through financial equality.

In summary, equality is not a virtue because:

  • It is impossible to be equal genetically. These genetic differences manifest in social structures.
  • It pushes the values of some onto the collective, which includes individuals that do not value equality as high as individualism.

Equality, whether obtainable or not, should not be strived for, because:

  • Equality as a goal infringes on the wants of individuals by making certain values mandatory. It encroaches on individual human free will.
  • Political efforts for equality led to the death of millions during the 20th century.

The United States of America is an empire akin to Rome

The United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. For more than 500 years, the Roman Empire was the most dominant nation in the world. It was superior to all other nations technologically, economically, and culturally. The United States has existed for fewer than 300 years, but has been a superior nation for most of that time. The USA has seen success in the same general areas as Rome – the economy, technology, and the culture.

Rome’s economy was open to free trade, although there was little industry compared to a more advanced economy. This led to a wide range of available jobs which allowed many participants into the economy. As technology improved and allowed previous jobs to be done more efficiently by fewer people, those left without jobs were able to find new ways to add value to the economy, which led to more technology and more jobs.

Similar, the United States is the economic and technological center of the world. While there are major financial hubs in Europe and Asia, the New York Stock Exchange is the largest international stock exchange, and the largest private companies in the world are all American. On top of that, America has most of the international startup ventures. Private American citizens and their companies invest in new technologies and attract the best engineers to work on their projects. The United States has long been a business-friendly nation, which encourages risk-taking entrepreneurs to try to add value in new ways. This encouragement comes in the form of capital availability, local resources that can help, and success stories to emulate.

Rome was, and the United States is, the strongest military in the world. This is largely due to the availability of resources in the two nations and how those resources combine with the technology to create superior weaponry. It also has to do with the individuals and the leaders of the nations. Romans and Americans have conquerors. That’s how the nations were founded, expanded, and how other advantages like resources have been secured. The United States has a disciplined military that incentivizes members to work hard for the country. Rome was even better at this – making it a great honor to serve in the military despite little financial reward.

The United States is, not so slowly, being taken over in terms of global market share and GDP. Other nations are catching up fast due to larger citizen bases now having access to global resources through the internet, improved education.

The Roman Empire collapsed because it was no longer seen as necessary. Surrounding countries had grown in resources and power. The infrastructure and values that had been a part of Rome for centuries were taken for granted by the citizens. Some of those values included military discipline, free trade, and virtues of not wanting. Discipline was not only in the military but in the society. As faith in these values and infrastructure faded, so did the resolve of the Romans. The resolve of Rome faded compared to that of the surrounding nations, and the empire collapsed in political and militant struggle.

The degradation of values and, with those values, freedoms that made Rome great is similar to what’s happening in the United States. The US won two world wars. It’s home to the financial and technological centers of the planet. We invented cars and airplanes. And today the United States lags in infrastructure and is growing far less rapidly in technology and the general economy compared to other nations.

In summary, the United States of America is an empire akin to Rome. The US maintained its position as the dominant force in the world for centuries. Both achieved this economically, technologically, and culturally. Both nations had a strong military force that kept civilians safe and inferior nations in fear. Like Rome, the citizens don’t understand the framework that the superior technology, culture, and economy depend on. We can learn from Rome in order to not sacrifice individual freedom to maintain a position of political dominance. As Rome demonstrated, if one is given up, the other follows.

Western civilization has been in decline for at least 150 years

Western civilization has been in decline for at least 150 years. The western world is built on individual freedom – the freedom for the individual to choose his own success or failure. The two systems that have most facilitated these individual freedoms have been capitalism and Christianity. These systems and, through that, the individual freedoms, have been eroded over time.

Capitalism is the ability to profit from the excess in labor. This depends on division of labor, so that the producer is motivated to over-produce so that he may trade for other stuff he wants. It is unselfish in that a producer is producing for more than himself. It is selfish in that the producer will almost necessarily ask for the largest amount of compensation for that excess. Capitalism is the ability to sell your neighbor what he needs for profit.

In a capitalist society, the individual can choose how much he wants to produce. A man can be a broke writer or a wealthy banker. This depends on the individual’s skillset, profession, and how the market values the output of that work.  He can live a life of stoic poverty, un-stoic poverty, or wealth and abundance of things. It depends on how much the individual produces.

Christianity tells us to treat others how we want to be treated – to be nice to people. There’s more to it – there are more specific virtues to follow and specific examples (Jesus) to follow, but for the most part Christianity is about treating others with respect while pursuing an individual’s mission. That mission can be about anything (that doesn’t negatively impact the individual or others).

Christianity is freeing because the mission of the individual is up to the individual. The individual’s mission isn’t dictated by a government but is chosen by the individual. In addition, Christianity recommends virtue, which is a way of being free from want and societal expectations – like status, simple pleasure, and prescripted employment paths.

Capitalism is declining for multiple reasons. One is the rise in the popularity of socialism in developed nations. Natural and unnatural influences (examples below) on the capitalist markets have created divisions in economic status. When these divisions appear unjust, the groups that feel slighted often blame the capitalistic system for the unjust outcomes.

Another reason for the decline is the inflationary impact of policy that has debased the global currencies. Monetary policy, handled in almost all cases by a central government, can be used to manipulate the price of goods in the market, including the currency. Monetary policy often serves to give an appearance of helping the lower classes while really only benefiting the banks and governing bodies. Whether inflationary or deflationary, monetary policy moves more value into the hands closest to the policy creation (banks, governments). This negative impact on lower classes pushes even more people towards socialism.

There’s also an impact of division of labor that extends beyond mere exchange of goods. Unlike external (to the free market) policy, advertising is a natural evolution of capitalism. That doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s good for profits. But it’s not good for people. Advertising targets people’s insecurities and makes them want more. When people want more, they need to work more which means they contribute more to the systems that create insecurities and inequalities. Markets are fueled by wants. Companies create wants. Wants keep the individual from experiencing the present.

Christianity on decline as religion becomes less popular. Religion is way down in the Western world. The increase in popularity of science has had a lot to do with this. STEM is where the jobs are, so STEM is where the education is. STEM has a public appearance of being opposed to Christianity, which is unfortunate and inefficient (another essay).

In addition to science in education, church scandals – especially in the Catholic Church, have put a negative light on Christianity. There have been tons of media coverage of the pedophilia that occurs in the Catholic Church. It’s not bad that there’s coverage, but this scandal does shape public perception through the negative press. There is very little positive in the church news.

Last, the glorification of vice is a major reason for the decline in Christianity and the decline in personal freedoms. With the decline in virtue, more people look to the outside world to bring satisfaction. Although external reward cannot bring eternal internal satisfaction, businesses are quick to exploit this search with the promise of fulfillment. New cars are promised to fill a void in status. Alcohol promises the reduced inhibition and the social grace that will come with faded nerves.

This is different from the rest of the world because the whole world doesn’t allow everyone to be free. The eastern world is full of socialist states or countries that enforce cultural rules. Others are tribal and each tribe has their own rules to follow. These strict rules suppress the meaning of freedom for individuals, let alone the positive ends that can be realized by allowing those freedoms.

These freedoms have been in decline for a long time. As Logan Allen, author of the unfinished theses, says, at least 150 years. This fall has been part political, part economical, and part the morality and values of the individuals.

Politically, the West is far less conservative than it was 150 years ago. Republicans in 2019 are going to battle over abortion being allowed until childbirth, rather than going to battle over women receiving a right to vote. Each loss for conservatives because it meant that there were more people who would be more likely to side with the collective instead of the individual.

Over the long run of history, conservatives have never one a single battle. After the women received the right to vote, gays have been allowed into churches to marry, and taxes have grown to cover – not only services that don’t benefit every individual but also, services that benefit the collective rather than the individual. At least, in theory it benefits the collective over the individual.

Socialist dogma since the beginning of time has praised the collective over the individual. But these are the dogmas the eastern world had to overcome through war and suffering. They had to learn hard lessons that cost millions of lives that it is not beneficial to value the collective over the individual.

Western civilization has been in decline for at least 150 years. Western civilization is based on the individual freedoms promised by capitalism and Christianity, which are both declining. Christianity is on the decline due to the war with the science community, scandal, and the glorification of vice. Capitalism is on the decline because of the socialization of the population due to wants instilled by free market results and politics.

Software engineering, writing, and producing media are the most valuable skills in the world

Software engineering, writing, and producing media are the most valuable skills in the world. These are the skills that will benefit society in this age of technology. These are the skills men must learn if they are going to be valued in the sexual market for their accomplishments in the economy.

 

Software engineering is important because it is how things are built these days. The days of innovating with brick and mortar and physical architecture are behind us. It isn’t nearly as shareable, scalable, or receptive to change as software.

While these present opportunities for software engineers, these also present challenges to software engineers. The engineers must be able to manage at scale while being receptive to change. The two of these can be contradictory. It takes hardware investment to scale hardware. There must be servers that maintain the speed and quality of software. Also, for any organization going through changes, this can be difficult if they are constantly needing to change systems or work precedes.

To add value to a business in 2018, you must have technical abilities with software. Everything is digital these days, and every industry is a software industry. Healthcare, banking, oil and gas – these are all niche industries and also software industries. Companies operating in these spaces have become data companies so that they can make sense of their company data and make better decisions to beat the current competitions. They have a further need to become data companies to shut out potential new competitors. Data giants such as Google and Microsoft are now threats to industries that have gotten by for decades or centuries because of their niche knowledge. Now the data giants are the ones with immense control and resources.

Writing is important because it is the articulation of ideas. Writing will always be important. Even in the days of Instagram and Snapchat and YouTube, writing remains a superior method of communication and articulation. Behind every great video is a great script. Behind every piece of technology is an idea.

Writing is how we articulate and share ideas. We’ve been sharing writing since stone engravings thousands of years before Christ. Then there were books and then the internet and now we share ideas in 280-character tweets. We will continue to document our ideas – whether technical ideas relating to software engineering or philosophical.

Producing media is important for both entertainment and for distilling ideas. As gatekeepers are removed from radio through podcasts, TV through YouTube, and newspapers through social media, everyone has the opportunity to be a media producer.

The removal of gatekeepers means that more producers will have access to more consumers. There is more opportunity for niche entertainment when there aren’t gatekeepers controlling quality or content. If there are 50 people on the planet willing to pay to hear you speak or sing, you’re not going to have a show on Comedy Central. But, if you could reach those people, you could make some money – maybe enough to eat.

Software engineering is among the most valuable skills in the world because businesses are going technical. If you want to add value to businesses, you must be technical. Writing, because articulation of thought and ideas is needed to make sense of new technology, which is the driving force of economic market value. Producing media is important because entertainment will never cease to exist in humans. Creating content will be more important as those software engineers do away with media gatekeepers. This change will be documented by the writers.

Many more economically free cities like Dubai and Shenzhen will come into being in the next 50 years.

Dubai and Shenzhen are economic centers for their geologic regions. These cities are exceptional because they allow a free economy to exist in locations that otherwise rely on government oversight of production, or have until recently.

Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates, and has emerged the largest global economic center in the middle east in the last ten years. Most countries in the middle east have relied on state-run oil companies for most of the economic activity. This oil is traded overseas, which has allowed the middle eastern nations to participate in global trade. The nation, or in many cases, OPEC, the oil-producing nations operating as a unit, were the ones making decisions that impacted the global trade. This is in contrast to the western world, where the entrepreneur, whether the individual or the CEO, is in charge of strategic decisions.

In the Middle East, economic activity was never at the discretion of the individual, but up to the nation that supplied oil to determine which products and services it would allow into its country. The country determined the values which guided the spend and trade that occurred with other nations. For instance, the country could prioritize fruits and vegetables, and limit the citizen’s freedom to indulge in an overseas candy bar. More commonly, these nations chose to trade for arms and military weaponry. The country decided that weapons were more important for all the citizens, rather than each citizen having a say.

China was long-ruled by communist political regimes that put similar constraints on trade. Negotiations on imports and exports were led by the leader of the country, or the minister of trade. This put constraints on the freedom of individuals because they could not choose how to spend the dollars that they made.

Countries operating with free markets allow the free-flowing information and tools across country lines – whether digital or not. When countries such as China or United Arab Emirates puts constraints on individual’s ability to produce, this does two things. It discourages individuals from producing and limits their ability to be productive compared to other countries in the world. Also, those individuals that want to produce and ignore the constraints of the country are encouraged to leave to a country that is willing to accept their ideas and labor. This is bad for the country, as they are not able to receive the benefits that that individual wanted to contribute.

Individuals want to contribute to their country, and their country wants them to contribute. By participating in a free economy, an individual is able to improve the situation for himself and his local community. Through participating in a local economy, not only does an individual spend money locally and trade for local goods, but he also pays taxes, creates products or carries out services that are, necessarily, valued by the local community (he wouldn’t get paid otherwise), and innovate. An individual must be able to try new ideas. He must be able to fail, if ever the country will innovate. The ideas that work are the ideas that are voted on by people willing to spend money to see them scale.

These days, these constraints are being destroyed by technology and the competition of other countries. Just like companies compete for the sale of products and services, the countries that house those companies compete for labor and business that produce tax revenue so the country can fund its projects. As free economies prove to be more productive and more innovative, those countries that choose not to participate in the free economy are left behind.

Further, economic constraints are being destroyed by technology. Social media has allowed people to communicate globally, instantly. Global marketplaces and shipping companies allow for people to purchase and receive goods anywhere in the world. Technology companies that depend on digital skills can recruit talent globally, and those skills can be put to work in any location with internet access. There’s internet access in every country.

These skills can be learned online, in many cases for free, from any location with internet access. As more intelligent individuals are given access to the internet and the tools that are now a part of it, more individuals will have access to these markets, and more individuals will have the ability to produce and contribute to the global, and their local, economy. Central hubs for innovation – London, New York, Silicon Valley, are no longer gatekeepers for talent and resources. The same resources can be found anywhere in the world, and talent can be encouraged to stay in those economies outside of the original hubs.

As more educated individuals have access to this global economy, more people will be able to participate in the economy. Because they no longer need to fly to New York or San Jose to get the job that enables them to contribute, and because the country they live in will be incentivized to provide them access to the global economy, more economically free cities will manifest around the globe.

The growth of cities will happen internationally – such as Shenzhen in China and Dubai in the UAE, and this will happen nationally. More cities will emerge within nations as this talent pool grows and resource constraints of hub cities become less important. In the United States, more cities will become internationally competitive. Atlanta, Denver, and Austin are three examples of cities that claim to be tech centers – and rightly so.

This growth will only be sped up when access to capital becomes available to individuals outside of hub cities. In the United States, many startup companies are funded by venture capital firms. The majority of these are located and prefer funding in Silicon Valley. That is one more hurdle that will be overcome through the increase in talent outside of “The Valley” and with the decentralization of funding – through technologies such as cryptocurrency. Decentralization will allow entrepreneurs to raise funding more easily through their own marketing efforts which can be targeted towards financial institutions or individuals looking to invest.

In summary, more economically free cities will come into being in the next 50 years. This will happen because:

  • Economic constraints are being destroyed by technology, where people can work from anywhere and make money from anyone.
  • Central hubs (New York and London) will be less important because of the connectivity of people, and more educated individuals that will have access to their local economies.
  • Governments are incentivized to reduce constraints to maximize long-term growth of local markets.

Women have more intrinsic value than men.

Women have more intrinsic value than men. This means that women have more natural value than men. Nature gives women their value, where men must find their value in the world.

Women are valuable across many dominance hierarchies. Out of the box, they don’t add any more value to a corporation than their fellow man, but they have far more value in sexual markets.

Women are born with the characteristics that make them attractive to the other sex. These aren’t evident at the moment of birth, but they just need to stay alive and not interfere with the characteristics that make them attractive. A fit woman that develops a feminine physique is an attractive woman.

These (fit, feminine) are the characteristics men evolved to find attractive. A woman who is young and has hips, a butt, and isn’t fat, suggests that she is able to bear children. The hips and butt suggest fertility, the lack of fat suggests health. Biologically, that’s all a woman needs to prove her attractiveness to a man. Femininity is more about a girl’s demeanor. It means she isn’t aggressively competitive or dominant – traits that may lead to success for men in the dating ecosystem.

Women are the more selective sex. This naturally results from the woman’s egg being lower in supply than a man’s sperm. Because her eggs are lower in supply than the available demand, like any economic good, the eggs are deemed of high value. All that’s physically required of a man in order to reproduce is his sperm.

A quick sex, and he’s done his part, physically. When the man is done with sex, he can be ready to reproduce again in manner of minutes if he is young, and hours if he is older and less virile. For a woman, she requires nine months of carrying out a pregnancy, at least, until she is able to reproduce again. Plus, she is at birth (at the latest) bonded to the child she carried with her for those nine months. The child will generally remain under her care until it is ready to join the world without her. Legally, that typically happens at 18 in the United States, and that’s about the minimum that an individual is mature enough to go on his own.

Those 18 years and nine months require resources and time. Therefore, the woman is incentivized to attract a man that will remain with her and share the investment in raising the child until it is an adult (at least). Therefore, she must be more attractive enough to, at least, be selective enough so that the man chooses to remain with her instead of leaving to maximize his reproductive abilities elsewhere. This form of commitment must be reached by appealing to a man on a physical and emotional level and, hopefully, his mental values.

All these characteristics, those required to attract the man, and those required to gain commitment of a man, are natural gifts given to women at birth and realized as she matures. She does not require building these skills out in the world, where the man’s ability to provide resources do require building skills.

In her own psychology, a woman can be gifted with the confidence that she will be able to attract a mate based on the gifts she was given at birth. This confidence is shakable, no doubt, but she can have confidence in something without needing to build skills that would allow a man to be attractive to the other sex.

Women have more intrinsic value than men because she is born with her sexual value and her ability to choose a mate. These attractive characteristics evolved out of the necessity to reproduce, and the woman’s egg is more valuable than the man’s sperm. Because she is born with this, she can have a natural confidence in her interaction with the world.

Nietzsche mistook the message of the Church for the message of Christ

Nietzsche said, “Christianity is the biggest destroyer of man.” Nietzsche, one of the great thinkers in world history, was incredibly negative on the subject of Christianity. He viewed Christianity as the ultimate weakness.

Christianity, according to Nietzsche, glorifies weakness. It glorifies illness, weak people, and promotes those individuals as the virtuous, rather than the strong and the risk-takers. It does this through several traditions. A couple of these are the sacrament traditions. Confession removes the incentive to be good at all times and not give in to weakness. Anointing of the sick gives courage and hope to the weak and sick. There is less public glory for the strong and healthy. Equating heaven with the afterlife is damaging. Heaven gives a final out – you don’t need to be good all your living days to experience a blissful eternity.

Christianity is the organized religion centered around Christ and the Bible’s New Testament. It is the religious organization that follows the pope and meets on Sunday to celebrate together. Christianity is the practice of worshiping Christ. That is different from the message of Christ. The message of Christ is the words and meaning behind the words that Christ embodied. The message of Christ is captured in the Bible. The message of the church is captured in the public statements by priests, the Pope, and members of any attended clergy.

The church is global as well as local. One church may tune the message from the rest of the churches. The message of the Bible is universal and constant. That is, the words of the Bible are constant. These words can be interpreted differently.

Jesus Christ had one motivation – to remove suffering from the world. He showed people how to remove suffering from the world through his example. He lived the perfectly virtuous life and inspired others to do the same. When given the choice to flee his death or become a symbol of righteousness, he was stapled to the cross in gruesome fashion.

The church has other motivations. The church, as an institution, will decline to nonexistence if it does not maintain membership. The church must compete against other churches, against other religions, and against other activities. It must appear positive in media in order to not degrade the image of the members or the leaders.

The church, therefore, must have an ego. It must have mechanisms in place to appeal to groups of people. This goes directly against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that one is only happy when he is virtuous, and that the ego must be destroyed to live in virtue. The church must guard its reputation to continue to please people. So, while the church can reach the message of Christ, it necessarily cannot live them out.

Nietzsche mistook the message of the church for the message of Christ. This is shown in his contempt for Christ, which he articulates in a couple of his books. The message of Christ is not the same as the message of the church. For example, to have no ego is the message of Christ but not the church. It is the church that makes more sense for the academic attacks by Nietzsche, not the message of Christ.

Vipassana is the art of focusing on the Process of living properly. Vipassana is the second most important thing to know in the world.

Vipassana is the second most important thing to know in the world. Vipassana is the art of focusing on the process of living properly. Vipassana, as a concept and practice, dates back to the earliest concepts and practices of Buddhism. The goal is to gain power over all things by gaining power over the mind. By controlling the thoughts that enter our minds, we can have more control over how those thoughts manifest in our behavior and our attitude. By being conscious of our thoughts, we can be aware of which thoughts are being pushed on us by outside forces – such as wants for status and wealth, versus those that we naturally come up with.

Vipassana is most often practiced by individuals that attend 10-day meditation retreats. During the 10-day retreat, the practitioner meditates for hours each day, does not indulge in any vice, conversation, or distraction of any kind, eats minimally and only for sustenance, and is to pay attention to each behavior that the individual engages in – whether that behavior is normally conscious or unconscious.

By bringing attention to not just the conscious behaviors but also the unconscious, we learn to focus on what we are doing at all times. By focusing on what we are doing at all times, we train our minds not to wander. When our minds don’t wander, they stay present on the activity we are doing. When we are fully engaged and focused on the activity we are doing, we receive the pleasure of not worrying about the past or future. Vipassana can be considered practical because we are more likely to excel at the task at hand if we are giving it our full attention. It can also be considered practical if we eliminate activities that do not benefit us through realization of what really matters.

Vipassana is so important because it is one of the few activities required for being happy. Worry, desire, and fear are three things that prevent us from being happy. These all necessarily require us to be thinking about the future. Worries and fears will only manifest in the future. Desires are things we want to obtain in the future. By living in the moment, we necessarily eliminate worry, desire, and fear. Regrets from the past cannot be undone. Vipassana eliminates regret.

When we eliminate worry, desire, and fear, we are happy. This requires rejection of external stimuli, a mind that is kept from distraction, and focusing on the present moment and any activity that is being done right now. When our mind wanders, we begin to think about future obligations. Those obligations are always means to satisfy our desires and eliminate worry. But fulfilling those obligations only makes us better at fulfilling obligations. It doesn’t make us better at ceasing to worry. Ceasing to worry happens by living intentionally in the moment, not in fulfilling obligations.

The only thing in life more important than Vipassana is the Buddhist concept of Samatha. Samatha is the calming of the mind. This is practiced by meditating, and can be practiced anytime. The concept of Samatha is to clear the mind of all thoughts, or at least get to a point where we don’t have uncontrolled thoughts.

It is only when the mind is calm that we can engage in Vipassana. We cannot concentrate on the present activity if we have an active mind that is full of constant thought. By practicing Samatha, we can calm the mind by training it to have fewer thoughts. This isn’t suppressing thoughts, it is an exercise we can do to have fewer thoughts that act as distractions from our lives. Instead of having numerous thoughts, we can control our thoughts by practicing Samatha.

In summary, Vipassana is important because it is necessarily required to live in the moment. Living in the moment is important because:

  • Focusing on each moment is important for peace of mind and understanding the right thing to do.
  • Happiness is found in the moment, where there are no worries, fears, wants, or regrets.

Vipassana is less important than Samatha, which is the most important thing to know in the world. Samatha is the calming of the mind. Only with a calm mind can one focus on each moment and, doing so, practice Vipassana. Because it is prerequisite for Vipassana, Samatha is more important.