Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 10

November 23, 2023

Such a brilliant film:

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

November 20, 2023

"The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."

-- Luo Guanzhong

November 20, 2023

People do not appreciate the psychology — really, the Mind — that it takes to be a visionary leader. Your mind has to be structured differently than ordinary people. Vision is a very rare thing among humans. If you have vision, you're in the top 1% of mankind and you have a unique responsibility toward fulfilling it. Most humans do not know how to have truly original thoughts. If you possess this ability it's like you possess a golden goose that lays golden eggs. But, now you have to work your ass off to make something of it, because visions do not actualize themselves.

As a visionary, it took me a long time — 3 decades — to realize that very few humans are visionaries. Not knowing any better I just assumed everyone was like me. But it turned out that I have a very rare type of mind. But nobody told me that, I had to figure it out all on my own. If you happen to be a unicorn, a problem that can arise is that you don't even realize you are a unicorn until late into the game. As a unicorn isn't extra important that you don't doubt yourself.

My mind is structured in such a way that I look for new ideas all the time. If it's not new and original, I'm just interested in it. Innovation is one of my highest values, but it took me a lot of self-reflection to make that explicit to myself. No one even told me that innovation could be a high value. But it's a core feature of the operating system of my mind. Which is why I am able to do groundbreaking intellectual work. But the downside of having such a mind is that you can't be bothered to care about mundane, conventional things.

November 19, 2023

Amazing documentary:

November 17, 2023

Every 6 years or so I build myself a new PC. I've been doing this since I was a teen.

Here's my newest build, which I'll be assembling next week:

Total Cost: $2,185

This should last me for 6 years.

November 16, 2023

This is the coolest insect design ever. I can't believe this thing is real. It looks like a creature from Dark Souls.

November 15, 2023

world-map-01

You may have noticed that I share a lot of documentaries about far-off countries on this blog, a lot of documentaries about global politics and geography.

In my effort to gain a deep understanding of global politics and mankind, I've come to realize that I just don't have enough raw experience of how people live in all the countries around the world. There's just a lack of data in my mind. There are some countries which I didn't even know exist, never mind knowing their living conditions and culture. So I've come up with a challenge to address this lack of awareness. The challenge is to watch at least one documentary about each country on the planet over the next 2 years, at a rate of 2 documentaries per week. There are 195 countries in the world. Most people don't know even half of them. But you can find outstanding documentaries on YouTube about each country just by doing a search. I am taking on this challenge. And I will be starting with the most obscure and least-known countries (mostly in Africa) and working my way towards the most-known countries, one documentary at a time. I am especially interested in learning about each country's geography, climate, culture, lifestyle, level of development, political situation, style of government, economy, and wildlife. I am especially interested in the least developed and most obscure countries.

I encourage you to take this challenge with me. Imagine how much deeper your understanding of the world will be 2 years from now if you complete this challenge. All you have to do is watch 2 documentaries per week for 2 years.

To make this challenge more fun I'm purchasing a scratch-off world map to track my progress.

If you want to join me, purchase a scratch-off map or globe for yourself:

If you have kids, encourage them to do this challenge along with you. This will be a great foundation for their general education and personal development. This is one of those investments that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It also makes a great gift.

This is not a trivial challenge. I've come to the conclusion that to really understand mankind requires experiencing how all of mankind lives, otherwise you're just looking at the world from a very narrow geographic, cultural, and developmental bubble. Of course, ideally you would travel of many of these countries. But this being expensive, impractical, and dangerous, the next best thing is to at least educate yourself about what is going on in all these obscure countries around the world. This will be a theoretical foundation which you can further flesh out later in life through travel.

Keep in mind, that as great and important as travel is, don't overlook the power of documentaries. Even if you travel to many of these countries you will not get a deep a look into the underbelly of how a country works as a typical tourist. This is what makes documentaries so invaluable: you can see things which no tourist would ever see.

This challenge is a big part of what it takes in order to develop Conscious Politics, Tier 2 politics, beyond the shallow, biased, partisan kind of politics which is found everywhere online.

As extra credit for this challenge, I will also be reading the Wikipedia page for each country after I watch its documentary.

You can find documentaries on every country by searching on YouTube: "[country name] documentary". For example: "Canary Islands documentary". I prefer to watch longer documentaries, at least 1hr in length. And for some countries I will be watching multiple documentaries per.

The overall goal of this challenge is not to memorize random geographic trivia but to expose yourself to the radical differences in lifestyle found around the world, to help you break out of your narrow way of life. The geography and culture of where you happen to live limits the scope of your mind. This is key to realize.

The internet is an amazing source for mind expansion, but only if you use it in a deliberate and self-directed manner, not by mindlessly consuming the low-consciousness click-bait that social media algorithms serve up to you. So, part of the value of this challenge is that you are taking conscious control of your social media intake and seeking out higher quality educational content.

We have a mega-thread on the Actualized Forum where you can share your favorite documentaries and progress on this challenge: Leo's Geography Challenge Mega-Thread

November 15, 2023

Somalia is ranked the most corrupt country on Earth, and one of the least developed.

November 14, 2023

So interesting:

November 13, 2023

The problem with under-developed states is that they aren't just deeply corrupt, they export their corruption across the world. This is why countries are not equally good or equally bad, in a culturally relativistic way. Some countries are more corrupt than others and have a toxic effect on the rest of the world.

Not all cultures are different but equal. Some cultures are more toxic than others. This quality of being toxic is not a judgment against a culture you happen to dislike for some personal prejudice or bias, it is a measure of a lack of integrity (i.e., corruption). Can you see that there is a difference between disliking a particular culture for subjective personal reasons vs recognizing that a culture is toxic? The difference is, you may prefer Chinese culture over Arabic culture over African culture, but determining which of these cultures is more toxic, more corrupt, is a separate and more objective matter.

The issue of corruption (or lack of integrity) is not merely a subjective notion, like whether you prefer Chinese or Japanese cuisine. Corruption is a much more fundamental issue, which has to do with truthfulness and fairness. No sane person would want to live in a highly corrupt, untruthful, unfair society — if they were given the choice, unless they are a criminal who wants to exploit a bad situation.

You can ask any person the following question and you will get a consistent answer: "Would you rather your children grow up in a corrupt or non-corrupt society?" So, you can see that this is a common value that nearly everyone on the planet agrees on. Truthfulness, integrity, and fairness are, so to speak, universal values. Recognizing this allows us to go beyond Stage Green cultural relativism.

Thus we can say that North Korean culture is inferior to American culture. Not because we hate North Korea, not because we are blinded by prejudice, but because we reject corruption. This doesn't mean American culture isn't corrupt to some degree. Every culture is corrupt to some degree. But American society way less corrupt than North Korea. It also doesn't mean that North Korean culture is inherently corrupt, or destined to be corrupt forever. In the future the day may come when North Korean culture becomes less corrupt than American culture, but that will require decades of serious development for North Korea.

Even though a lot of stuff is relative in the absolute sense, we can still sort better from worse because the issue of truthfulness is a fundamental, universal factor in life. It turns out that living a good life requires high degrees of truthfulness. So truthfulness becomes our North Star. Or, to put it another way: TRUTH is the highest universal value. Why? Because TRUTH is what exists! TRUTH is not relative, TRUTH is absolute. So unlike what Stage Green relativist philosophers say, there does exist something trans-human that we can all ground ourselves in. Namely, there exists TRUTH. And if you try to deny this, you will end up creating a sick, dysfunctional, monstrous society which even you will start to regret at some point. That's what North Korea is.

Consider that the sickness of a system is not a subjective, relative matter. A sick system is one which destroys itself. This can be turned into a kind of objective metric. If a society is mistreating its own people, it is sick. So the ultimate question in the sphere of politics is: How do we create healthy societies and avoid becoming a toxic society? This is the ultimate question for cutting through all the bullshit found in politics.