Tag Archives: life

The Importance of Diversity in Life

Among the regenerative and degenerative landscapes I’ve seen, diversity is a key factor in what kind of landscape one is. Agricultural landscapes annual (e.g. corn, soy) and perennial (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts) can restore or degrade ecosystem services depending on the diversity and complexity of the agro-life sytem. Eclectic interests keep one interested, diverse plant communities keep one resilient and rich (e.g. Biodiversity promotes primary productivity and growing season lengthening at the landscape scale Oehri et al. 2017). Life itself is a diversity, an emanating Tree of Life with unique branches to each one’s own.

It’s true that great practice in one specific area brings great fruits. Whether an excellent organic farm operation or a kick practiced 1,000 times, a la:

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

Monopolies in business are a bitter-sweet example of this: bitter in how vulnerable and skewed the system can become; sweet in the fruits of specialization and the economies of scale if you’re on the good side of the skew.

However all the better that many kicks and maneuvers are practiced many times. On one level this applies to one’s own life in terms of adaptability and engagement with many aspects of life. On a spiritual level it is balance and vitality in the diverse branches of the Tree of Life. On another level this applies to the collection of many lives lived covering a diversity of ways: products in markets; species in ecosystems; geographies to live in; all the colors, shapes, sizes, and ways of life; forests.

Forests. What a vital instance of diversity in all our lives. Supporting, regulating, providing, and cultural. We humans are, after All, descended from arboreal creatures. Here’s to growing home!


Happening Upon Happiness

This interview – Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy – makes a few good points. Some that I find particularly useful:
– meaning, belonging, and autonomy are key ingredients to happiness
– attitude also makes a big difference, specifically being scarcity-minded (e.g. either I succeed or someone else does, we can’t both win) or abundance-minded (e.g. there’s room for everyone to grow)
– orient your progress around processes, not peaks, for every peak is a false peak

Peace via Mutually Assured Destruction

Reminiscent of Dark Forest Theory, Yuval Noah Harari spoke with Sam Harris about mutually assured destruction. Humanity faces various existential threats now (nuclear war) and in the future (AI), with some threats coming from human enemies (cyber warfare) and some from a common enemy/ourselves/no enemy (climate change). Yuval pointed out how the common enemy of mutually assured destruction itself may be our salvation. When two parties recognize that it is in their best interest to avoid any potential catastrophies with nuclear war, because of the mutually assured destruction that can come with such a path, they step back from that precipice. The same applies for future potential catastrophies both parties might pursue or affect, like AI or even climate change. ‘The only way to assure I am not destroyed is to work together with them to ensure none of us get destroyed.’  By recognizing the potential for mutually assured destruction, we can work together to overcome existential risks.

Dark Forest theory is from Chinese Sci-Fi series In Remembrance of Earth’s Past, also known as Three Body Problem. It focuses on various existential threats at a bewildering set of scales, from neighboring alien civilizations’ mutually assured destruction, to the mutually assured destruction of All in the Universe.

Advice on Dying

Summary of advice from Advice on Dying: And Living a Better Life by Dalai Lama

  1. If you cultivate a sense of the uncertainty of the time of death, you will make better use of your time.
  2. To prevent procrastination with regard to spiritual practice, take care not to come under the influence of the illusion of permanence.
  3. Realize that no matter how wonderful a situation may be, its nature is such that it must end.
  4. Do not think that there will be time later.
  5. Be frank about facing your own death. Skillfully encourage others to be frank about their deaths. Do not deceive each other with compliments when the time of death is near. Honesty will foster courage and joy.

Zero and Infinity – Mind the Tree

“Something for a Saturday – Zero and Infinity

As soon as one is on the mystical path, it is neither logical nor rational to think that the existence of man is confined to a single passage on Earth.

As soon as intuition or inner experience, or some other kind of mental pressure, has led us to conceive of man as a being in evolution, a coherent explanation of existence is that man starts from Zero and journeys towards the Infinite. Indeed, as soon as there is evolution, what is the obstacle that could limit it before the stage of the Infinite?

The aim of my lessons and papers is twofold. Firstly to give the means to everyone to accelerate their own evolution, and secondly for people to obtain one of these contacts with the Infinite which alone reveal the true destiny of man. Continue reading →