You are always internalizing the culture around you. Even when you wish you didn’t. So you better surround yourself with something you want inside—curate a culture.
This is excellent, looking forward to the rest of the series.
My oldest nephew is now a junior in highschool, and his brother a sophomore. My sister and I were homeschooled, which provided a milieu that, I think, turned us into significantly more thoughtful and interesting people than the standard route of public school would have allowed. But my sister has just sent her boys to public school throughout, which has disappointed me (actually it has made me mad at myself for failing to make the argument more convincingly, or to provide an alternative schooling environment).
I like the way you put it in the final section: you want to create a distributed apprenticeship in the art of being you. There is a vastly larger number of paints and brushes available for someone to learn to draw themselves in a thoughtfully curated personal milieu, than is given in the generic conformity machine of public school. Maybe it's not too late to impart some more color into my nephews' milieu.
This made my night - if not months. Thanks Henrik.
I'm all in on this series, and love where this is going. I've noted this curated auto-poesis in myself, perhaps as a result of my attempts at being both performer and audience with my teenage kids. The use of GPT-3 as a personal (possibly broader) cultural tutor and educator is an interesting avenue of pursuit. Thanks!
THANK YOU! You've articulated something I've been trying to do, and feeling a bit mad/pretentious/ruthless and you've made me feel sane and justified. We are networked beings.
This is phenomenal. I had some of these ideas already, half formed and only partially implemented. Thanks for helping make clear the direction I was already stumbling towards!
just came across this. wow. great read. I need time to reflect
Thank you so much for this post! It's serendipitous that I found it, it so appropriate for me at this moment in my time. I had to leave my former milieu two and a half years ago in a small country town, and come to the big city for medical treatment. When I first surfaced after the cure, the internet commentators I'd been used to following, were all saying depressing, negative stuff. Not what I wanted to hear. Been floating since, but swimming hard now toward the next installment.
This is a beautiful, beautiful essay Henrik. Thank you. I chanced upon your page through a Twitter feed that led me to 'Looking for Alice', which made me think 'Oh, I wish I could write like this' [and just mere micro-seconds ago I noticed myself indulging in 'millisecond correction to fit my words']. Thank you for helping me articulate that feeling into words. :)
This essay is such a wonderful articulation of how I think, and have modeled my life around over the last two decades. And how I have tried to explain my actions to those who are confused (and perhaps offended?) by my 'avoidance of certain people and situations'. This is also something I continue to emphasize the importance of during one of those deep, meaningful conversations as I'm reaping the mental benefits of adopting some measure of this discipline.
Even though I've known about Substack for a few years now, it is only now that I'm in the right mental space to indulge in it. And I'm glad I chanced upon your page and this series to keep me hooked to the platform and hopefully this becomes the first step in my long future association with Substack. Looking forward to reading the next one.
This was an amazing read, thanks for sharing!
"And after a handful of years of hanging about with people more skilled than themselves, our babies—these tiny, soft-skulled creatures—can out-compete chimpanzees in all but close combat"
I want to see the proof for the close combat claim. For science.