The unknowns

People so sure of their own shit giving shit to other people who are also just holding onto their own shit when actually no one has a fucking clue whats gonna happen.

we are so sure of things but really no one knows

what we don’t see

what we don’t know

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world.

Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are?

What’s the history? how did it become what they are?

These invisible rules that govern the world, interconnected, entrenched, manmade. All of “the way it’s always been done”, and the inconveniences it made. And us tolerating, coping, working around the system, finding loopholes, working with the cards we are dealt.

It’s impossible to win unless you clearly see what game you’re playing and what the rules are.

Not knowing what could be done to any difference, or even anything else is possible. We don’t know what’s the boundary if we never try to see and make them explicit. We rarely explore go near the boundaries to even know where it sits..

Everything around us is made up. Even numbers are concepts. (that piece about “everything starts with an agreement on an assumption”, of a story. numbers is one)

This is not a conspiracy theory podcast.

We are all figuring things out. We do our best with what we think we have. I want to make sure we have what we should have. I want to help you realise how much power you have. You can create things that you wished existed. Internal and external engineering. You have power to shape the world around you. You have power to shape the world inside you. You have power to choose what game you are playing.

My sense was once dull but now I notice these more. Notice and then go after them. You cannot go wrong in life. Start now.

I’m looking to discover and share as many of these insights, exposing myself to as many different perspectives and tangled implicit assumptions and rules. Like crossword puzzle. solve within scope. Find that underlying principles, unifying thread, see the different layers clearly to be able to zoom in and out, get clear context. The forest and trees. Cut right through. Disillusioned

I want to find things that are hidden, never realised or questioned and try to make them more explicit.

Life is like a merry go round. seeing the same old shit from different angles, level of zoom, and resolutions. the same things in a different light

It’s going to be a combination of discussing something with someone who actually knew / understood the history / got some insider story and theorising about something.

  • intuit
    • Image
  • breakfast is the most important meal of the day – kellog
  • alex danco x properties, urban stuff

  • the idea of clocks, timezones (12:00 in this video // andrew taggart)
    • 19th century english factories, for operational efficiencies? but even before that, we have clocks / been tracking time, no?
    • the man made structures around us. it’s a social construct
    • not a bad thing, but it dictates / in fundamental way structures the way we think and live
    • timezones is made to sync up the railroads
    • the concept of job also came to be in the 19th century. then 20th century “universal employment”. thinking of schedules, opportunity cost (damn iya)
    • we are operating in a work-centric understanding of life
    • and now probably we’re cracking that existential matter where people start to investigate
    • so, how can we move past that conception of work?
    • the point is not to reject and question everything. just to realise that you’re in it, keep what’s working, what you find useful, and discard ones that don’t serve you anymore
      • to see the water. OH. yes. that. what’s water? that’s gonna be the intro to this podcast / series concept
    • don’t just do something, stand there.
    • pick your battle (you don’t need to know before you act. but you must decide at some point)

    • leisure first of all is not quantifiable it’s not understood in terms of chronological time or in terms of the space
    • when you read a book in a certain way and you’re not reading it just to acquire theoretical knowledge and you’re not reading a book simply to get through it to the end when you’re reading it with a view to apprehending it to allowing it to seek end
  • how the publishing industry works
    • the TKP – self publishing guy (1h 10m into the episode), amazon SEO
    • ngobrol sama anak2 markir dan xsimamora
  • the algos on platforms. Google x SEO, toped, amazon

  • sex, how it’s supposed to be, medically, socially, morally, all conflicting (em nagoski)

  • that brilliant english propagandist dude

  • henry ford x 40 hour work week


    • (could be apocryphal) Handshakes started as way to show you didn’t have a knife in your dominant hand, clinking glasses as a way to mix drinks and prevent attempts at poisoning. Interesting how many of our niceties originated in the need to prevent the other person to kill you
  • but then,
    • Anyway, you know that big 20th century crime wave? Due to social breakdown, modernity, changing demographics, toxic masculinity responding to the different gender roles in an increasingly feminist world, the consequences of multiple wars, globalisation, and oops never mind it was probably just lead.
    • That’s not to say that cat calling isn’t a problem. It’s a problem, of course, a major one. But somehow it’s one that some women don’t experience, and it’s fairly mysterious as to why. It’s easy to generate hypotheses, but it’s hard to say which of them are accurate because it’s extremely unlikely that it’s monocausal, and if it is monocausal it’s probably caused by something completely random like preferred colour palette or getting enough sleep or something.
    • We like the idea that the world makes sense and things happen to us for reasons, but this greatly underestimates its complexity, and the number of things that are indirect consequences of seemingly unrelated things that just change the numbers enough to completely shift our lived experience into a different pattern from other people.
    • Because we focus on this idea that the world makes sense, we tend to fit our experiences to simple narratives, and this causes us to assume they are much more shared than they are. We talk about the typical mind fallacy, but the typical lived experience fallacy is if anything more pervasive. Your lived experience is probably less universally shared than you think it is, and where it’s shared it’s probably not for the reasons you think it is.
  • Trump removing some nursing home regulations


  • the other side
    • “Tradition is a set of solutions for which we have forgotten the problems. Throw away the solution and you get the problem back. Sometimes the problem has mutated or disappeared. Often it is still there as strong as it ever was.” – Donald Kingsbury
  • north star – adam robinson (discovering secrets or sth)
    • How startups and new companies can compete against software giants that are pretty well entrenched in the market
    • because there are problems that are on this could be around forever.
    • something that interests me a lot personally as housing. I think housing is just one of those very tough issues where there are no easy solutions. and a lot of the classic villains that we point our fingers and say well that’s the problem
    • the problem is you know, the mortgage interest deduction, or the problem is this particular way around control works, or whatever it is
    • every problem we can point to is like there for some very entrenched in real reason
    • you can’t casually go in and say oh well the problem is X and I’m going to go disrupt it with my software company
    • so say more about housing so what intrigues you about the problem? what have been some of the interesting findings aside from this kind of entrenched interests which is kind of always what you see with housing?
  • Alex Danco – North Star Podcast, 01:50:00 e.g.
    • I think for people in the venture community, and people in startups and people in tech and people who want to go build companies to disrupt things, something that you should really spend time on doing is developing a respect for why things are the way they are. Especially if you’re working in these hard areas, like healthcare and cities and governments and stuff like that.
    • Things are the way they are for hugely entrenched, important reasons that matter. That doesn’t mean that the way things are is the best way that they could be. But they are that way for a reason.
    • And the earlier that you can jump in towards trying to develop that respect for the way things are, I think the sooner than you will get to a good appreciation for, okay, here’s how I can help. Here’s what I can build. Here’s where I should be focusing my efforts. And here is that non-obvious point of arbitrage or that point of discontinuity, that is a good place for me to go check out.
    • 12:12. everything we made up, is only 150 year old
  • BJ Miller or sth, yg ttg everything around us is manmade structure, and when you’re dying, these fly out the window
    • The problem with the story is that it’s not true. Horses were employed for commercial transport, but people rode in electric streetcars and disliked sharing the roads with the new, intrusive, privately owned vehicles. It took half a century of public relations, lobbying, and urban replanning to get people to drive automobiles. Plus, we now understand that if cars did make the streets cleaner in some respects, it was only by externalizing the costs of environmental damage and the bloody struggle to secure oil reserves.
  • capitalism
    • Milton Friedman
    • Adam Smith

what we never questioned and rethink

herd thinking / cargo cult / not seeing the world

  • image-20200406095732601

Balaji Srinivasan calls this the idea maze:

A good founder is capable of anticipating which turns lead to treasure and which lead to certain death. A bad founder is just running to the entrance of (say) the “movies/music/filesharing/P2P” maze or the “photosharing” maze without any sense for the history of the industry, the players in the maze, the casualties of the past, and the technologies that are likely to move walls and change assumptions.

In other words: a good idea means a bird’s eye view of the idea maze, understanding all the
permutations of the idea and the branching of the decision tree, gaming things out to the end
of each scenario. Anyone can point out the entrance to the maze, but few can think through
all the branches.


When you’re starting out, it’s impossible to completely map out the idea maze. But there are some places you can look for help:


we don’t know what we’re missing

is this virus a blessing in disguise?

or am I just doing mental gymnastics? rationalising?

how does it matter? what difference does it make?

managing internal state? self talk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *