I Know Nothing

Humbled. Today is the 11th day of June of the year 2019. I’ve felt this somber melancholy that I really don’t know anything. Compared to the vast knowledge that have been built, and will be built, I know so little. There’s no need to be giddy that you’ve solved problem X, when it’s one among the infinite ones out there. Similarly, maybe I shouldn’t be extremely stressed out about mistakes and mess ups, when those actions are cosmic dust in a spectrum of all available decision. I reflect back on the younger days, when I thought I knew more, and I was wiser than someone else. There’s some shame in that. I feel like an idiot for ever thinking that way.

You think you understand, then you take a second look. And you’ve realized that you’ve never really internalized nor grasped. Whether that be a simple story or a math equation, I feel that there is always deeper meaning underneath it all. It’s like scratching the surface of an iceberg. You can keep going down forever.

It’s a two sided coin. On one hand, you will never run out of things to learn, explore, and think about. How exciting! But on the other hand, you will never learn everything. Impossible.

Other things I struggle with:

  1. You can call someone out for their bs, but I find myself in similar situations and under the same conditions I can easily make the same mistakes. I.e. criticizing someone for not willing to do something then a week later I find myself not willing to do something easy for a stranger because I was in such a terrible mood.
  2. It’s hard to strike up conversation with people when you know that the relationship will never be deep. What’s the point of striking up a conversation with a person at the subway? You may never see them again. But then again, you may never know where conversations end up. They may offer you a book recommendation, or something super insightful and change the way you think. But you don’t want to annoy them either.
  3. Making good choices. For every decision in the decision space, there is a theoretical best decision. For yourself, there is a theoretical best decision that you can take at every time t. I want to take those optimal decision, or decisions close to them. This is hard. The big recommendation I keep hearing is to study philosophy deeply. It has characteristics that cannot be defined my structured math and logic.
  4. Becoming a more efficient coder. One of the things I’ve realized I need to work on, still, is coding a little and testing a little. Knock on your steps before going to deep. Dipping your toe before jumping into the ocean. Not digging myself into a cobble-web of complexity.
  5. Becoming a better communicator. Lately, I feel like I’ve had a string of.run on sentences. People can’t keep track. I should cut, verify they understand, cut, and perhaps get more feedback. Usually shorter sentences are better than longer ones Ugh. But at the same time, it annoys people if you keep asking for feedback. Maybe the better approach is to study people’s so I can detect confusion.

Drafted June 11th, revised June 13th.