This week's theme is identity. I feel a lot of unknown unknowns remain because we refuse to see what's in front of us. And we do this because of our identity.
Why do we play games that are harder than they need to be? Why do we "keep it real"?
We do so much more work and commit so much more effort because of ego.
One hundred years ago yesterday, my grandfather left China. He was thirteen. He was alone. Thinking back on his story made me contemplate my perspectives on life. Things that I hold to be so true are completely based on my experiences. Not just my experiences, but my memories of those experiences. Given how fallible we know human memory is now, why do we cling so desperately to our identity?
The pseudonym "unoptimal" describes how identity blocks you from seeing unknown unknowns:
It seems to me that in general, the habits or actions that limit myself tend to be a result of pride or fulfilling an identity. They also seem to do with seeing reality as I want it to be, rather than how it actually is.
He also shares a great essay by Nate Soares about how complaining is a way that we arbitrarily limit ourselves.
=> Article Here
At the same time, identity can be crucial to outcomes. Tomas Pueyo explores whether free will exists. He concludes that the debate is a red herring, that "you develop free will when you believe in free will. Free will exists because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy."
This is important because, "If you believe there’s no free will, you’ll act as if you didn’t have any agency. As if you had no influence over what you can or can’t do. You will blame everyone but yourself for everything bad that happens."
=> Article Here
It seems to be a paradox to me. You need to limit your identity in order to see unknown unknowns, but you need to exert your free will in order to have agency. I would love to hear thoughts on this dichotomy.
Questions, suggestions, complaints? Email me me at [email protected]. Feedback welcome.
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two. And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!
Have a great week,