intractable problems

I think I’ve always been a curious learner. Learning about how complex a thing is has rarely deterred me. If anything, it’s tended to spur me onward. When I think about how I ended up being so fixated on the problem of people interacting online, I think about how I would summarize the greatest mysteries of the world.

The first has to be physics. How does reality hang together, how did it start, where’s it all going? Physics contains the biggest, deepest mysteries of them all.

The second is the mind. How does it actually work, what creates consciousness, and how does the body and world impact it, exactly? The mind feels so infinitely complex and we seem to have barely scratched the surface.

The third is humanity. How does a society or community really function, and what are the drivers of how they define success and achieve it? The ability of humans to self-organize from a scale of one to billions is woefully understudied and endlessly fascinating to me.

So then, how to choose? The third is the most pressing, because if we don’t get better at it we’ll never have the runway left to figure out the other two. And the advent of the Internet changed it so fundamentally, this feels like a rare opportunity to effect its trajectory.