The realest thing to anyone is themselves. The further from the self the less real things feel. For example, we know about the stars and distant galaxies but the fly buzzing our ear is more important and “real” as to steal our attention. While we have the power to imagine great things and empathize, direct experience is more important because it involves the “I”. Our wants, needs, and desires exceed the realness of all else.
This phenomenon sums up one my biggest frustrations with the COVID-19 global pandemic and, what I’m fairly sure will become another health crisis, Long COVID: we fail to take collective action against something we know is real but we don’t always directly see.
From I Am a Strange Loop
- Abstractions are real and yet less real compared to the “I”
- We’ve seen that rugged individualism (even more emphasis on the self!) is incompatible with managing the pandemic
- Mindfulness is about recognizing the illusory self
Links to this note
There is tremendous power in being able to simultaneously hold two ideas in one’s head that appear to be in opposition. Contradictions can create boundaries on thoughts—it’s usually unpleasant to have cognitive dissonance—and can lead to dogma. I’ve found that being able to stick with it, despite the discomfort, can be very powerful.
Companies don’t really want frontend engineers or backend engineers or infrastructure engineers. If you work at an engineering as product organization, they want good product engineers solving user problems. As an industry, this is poorly understood and little is written to help people understand the principles of good product engineering.
A strange loop is a combination of traits that creates the condition for selfhood. Categories of numerous symbols derive meaning from raw stimuli. Categorization leads to perception rather than reception. Abstractions create reality and high-level behavior no longer consists of lower-level behavior only. The loop reinforces the idea of the ‘self’ and the self feels the most real.