Manifesto

[last update: September 15, 2017]

I try not to let my attention wander too far from appreciating the wonder of the very fact that I am alive. The odds against our being alive and conscious are really high. It’s easy to die and, at least for now, inevitable. I remind myself of that fact often, and so aspire not to take most of life’s status competitions too seriously.

I am a lawyer by trade. But I spend most of my time reading about other things. My areas of interest include evolutionary biology, meditation, history, artificial intelligence and machine learning, music (everything from classical to alt-country), philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, foundations of math, future stuff, some people who call themselves rationalists, and some people who call themselves metarationalists.

To the extent that this blog has a theme, it’s that most of us would be happier if we spent less of our lives staring at screens. I don’t pretend that this is a universal formula for happiness, but the trend is toward ever-increasing absorption in screen-related activities, and the evidence is mounting that past a certain point this is a recipe for unhappiness.

Insofar as I’m capable of being honest about such things, this blog has two main purposes. First, I think writing is the best way I know to learn. By writing about the subjects that interest me the most, I am learning more about the subjects that interest me the most. Second, this blog is my attempt to claim status on my own terms. So far, it hasn’t been that successful. But I still like doing it. That’s the nice thing about doing things on your own terms.

I live in a small mountain town called Salida, Colorado. I think it’s just about the coolest place on earth.

This blog is a work in progress. Every time I post something, I consider the post a first draft. Thus, I am flexible about updating posts when I learn or discover something new. I think some bloggers might object to this as a form of revisionism, but this isn’t a news or a prediction site. When I update a post, I’ll list the date of the most recent update at the top (as I have on this post).

I’ve only met one person who reads more than I do.

l like to play board games more than anyone I know.

I wouldn’t mind it if I were rich, but I have no desire to be famous.

I have a thing for high-quality tea.

I try to be very judicious about the information I consume and how I consume it.

I think this is a heckuva time to be alive.

When I die, I want a tombstone as a memorial. I don’t care if my former body is buried underneath it. You can burn me down and shoot my ashes out of a cannon or flush them down the toilet. But I do want a stone that serves as a reminder that I was here.

And I want it to say this:

Here lies Kieran

He was Joyous and Swift

1977-?

Until then, if you’d like to reach out to say hello, my email is Kieran(dot)McCarthy(at)gmail(dot)com

Twitter profile photo credit: Kapuchinsky