ūü§ĮUnknown Unknowns #44 - Slack vs. Moloch
2 min read

ūü§ĮUnknown Unknowns #44 - Slack vs. Moloch

Apologies for missing last week!  I continued my ski trip in Tahoe and wasn't able to get a newsletter out.  Here's a view of Lake Tahoe from Alpine Meadows.

This Week:


I started posting a daily idea list on twitter.  It's an idea I got from James Altucher, he calls it "exercising your idea muscle."  Write 10 ideas a day on any prompt you want.  The point is to realize an abundance mindset, stop overthinking, and realize that dumb ideas come out before good ideas.

In other writing news, I'm in the middle of a cohort of Write of Passage and I have three and a half drafts done, so I'll have more original writing to share soon.


I've talked about the ideas of Slack and Moloch before, but today I want to go a little deeper and show how they relate to each other.

Moloch is the personification of a race to the bottom.  In a pure competition, each side will compromise on every thing it values in order to win.  For example, performance enhancing drugs in sports.  Each competitor is willing to push the limits as far as they can get away with in order to win.  This competition occurs many times in our lives.  Who spends the most face time in order to get promoted?  The most interesting takeaway is that this is always a local maximum, not a universal maximum.

In other words, is getting promoted the actual goal?  Or is life satisfaction the ultimate goal?  And this is where the concept of Slack comes in.  Slack is the ability to step back and see where this competition lies in our priorities.  The problem is that if you step back, you're hurt in the competition.  You can't take Slack without being handicapped.  But Moloch drives you and you want to win the competition.

It's cutting your nose off to spite your face.  Winning the short term while oblivious to the larger picture.  I feel this is why most people are dissatisfied.  They can't pause and take stock of the situation, so they're stuck focusing on society's values and goals instead of discovering their own.

=> Meditations on Moloch
=> Studies on Slack

Questions, suggestions, complaints? ¬†Email me me at [email protected]. ¬†Feedback welcome.

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Leaving you in peace,