A blog of Big Ideas and Little Jokes
So, I’m one of those doomed, silly individuals looking for ‘the truth.’ Sounds daft and pitiful, but in reality, what it actually means is that I spend a lot of time on the weirder corners of the internet reading things, and have become pretty addicted to this feeling of my worldview being poked with a stick, shaken about in a washing machine, or just tweaked in what feels like the right sort of direction towards a truthier sort of goal. Maybe we can’t ever be Right, but I think we can probably be Less Wrong, which is why we are now able to fly to the moon, instead of just believing a Cheese-Man lives there.
Because I’m a weirdo, there’s almost nothing I like more than those light-bulb Eureaka! moments of having my worldview forced into a new shape by a sudden collision with evidence or a better idea, that hits you in the face like a logic-wrapped brick. Whether this involves realising I was wrong about something (what I’ve previously been wrong about could fill a warehouse, a fact I hope to explore more on this blog), or whether it’s learning to zoom further and further out on an issue than ever before, and be able to see it for first time from some newer, fuller, clearer viewpoint. This is why I sometimes like writing from the perspective of an alien, unladen as they are with humanity’s dumb baggage.
Indeed, whenever you let an astronaut within a meter of a microphone, all they do is bang on about these types of feelings and perspectives – the key-going-into-a-lock ‘consciousness-expanders’ moments of getting to look down at Earth for the first time, and not see the endless, flat horizons of us gravity-trapped chumps, but instead the totality of everything we are and have ever been encapsulated in a little pearly marble spec, lost in the inky blackness of the infinite. Woah. It’s such a common experience in space, that astronauts call it ‘the Overview Effect.’
If you’re going to open your mind, try not to let your brain escape
For me, the best of these realisations are always the ‘profound’ ones – the awe-inspiring mind-blowers that instantly upgrade the Operating System of our worldviews, like when you stare into the Grand Canyon and try to comprehend the story of time, or, slightly lower down the spectrum of astonishment, when you first realise that Kanye West’s ego is – at this very moment – a genuine topic of peer-reviewed psychology papers (how a man can produce the sentence “If I was just a fan of music, I would think that I was the number one artist in the world,” and the lyric, “In a French-ass restaurant / Hurry up with my damn croissants” is a question for vigorous scientific inquiry. We must know.)
This ‘worldview upgrade’ thing seems to release a dopamine hit in my brain, and I’m a junkie for cool ideas, interesting perspectives and the weird-person fun of trying to hold multiple, conflicting worldviews in just one daft head at the same time. Hencewise is where I’m doing my best to regurgitate and summarise some of the best ideas and arguments I’m otherwise wasting my life following, in the hope that I can waste slightly less of yours if you’re interested to. I’m trying to be as open-minded as possible, without letting my brain escape. It should be fun.
One day, I plan to make a ‘Reader’ of people, organisations, publications, YouTube channels, etc. that I think are wise, interesting, thought-provoking, courageous, honest, or which have somehow influenced my understanding of the world. Until, then, you can see the kinds of things I’m reading here and the kind of things I’m watching here.