24 November, 2010

Trust your instinct, obey your thirst of knowledge

I've tried to keep myself on the track of gathering knowledge, reading, and what you, I guess, could call "self-improvement". I have to say, that I've discovered it's a damn load of work.

Somehow, back when I got this idea that I need to read more, write more and think more, I thought it was going to be quite a straightforward business. I mean, how hard could it be? Read a couple of books, write some stuff - and hey presto, you're a much better person!

Well, it was a fallacy to think that, obviously. First of all there's the time issue: countless hours are spent on WIkipedia, on LessWrong, on reading various books. Secondly, some of the stuff I've come across in books, blogs etc. is just so damn complex, that I end up thinking about it for days, feeling just even more confused afterward! But still, I've got the same feeling that it's good for me.

It's really hard to rationally justify all this effort. The progress (if it exists) seems to happen in infinitesimal steps. But still, I know that there was a day, when I couldn't write. There was a day, when I knew nothing about Aristotle's political theory. There is a change, but it's just so slow that I end up forgetting it's happening.

However, there is no knowing if all this will lead to me being "a better person". I embarked on this Quest about 1,5 years ago, and have felt a lot better since. But does feeling better equal going in the right direction?

I guess I just can't know what I will know in the future, and how it will profit my growth. I'll have to trust my instincts in being a rationalist.

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