Hamster Wheels

Hamster Wheels

715538351c6be6d67ba658fed4322fec?s=128

Tal Raviv

April 21, 2019
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  1. @talraviv talraviv.org hamster wheels

  2. @talraviv talraviv.org the modern world is a weird place

  3. @talraviv talraviv.org I’m told it’s made surviving past 30 easier

    than before
  4. @talraviv talraviv.org I’m told it’s made surviving past 30 easier

    than before for some people at least
  5. @talraviv talraviv.org the rest has been confusing

  6. @talraviv talraviv.org Here’s one question: after safety and health, what

    should I do with my time?
  7. @talraviv talraviv.org I’ve given this a lot of thought

  8. @talraviv talraviv.org and I drew an intricate diagram 
 to

    explain everything
  9. @talraviv talraviv.org

  10. @talraviv talraviv.org ha it’s a hamster

  11. @talraviv talraviv.org on a hamster wheel

  12. @talraviv talraviv.org that’s my diagram that explains life

  13. @talraviv talraviv.org that’s my diagram that explains life wait.

  14. @talraviv talraviv.org that’s my diagram that explains life wait. wait!

  15. @talraviv talraviv.org that’s my diagram that explains life wait. wait!

    WAIT
  16. @talraviv talraviv.org our time can be spent

  17. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel

  18. @talraviv talraviv.org or just being a hamster

  19. @talraviv talraviv.org here’s what each means

  20. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation being

    a hamster means
  21. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems being a hamster means
  22. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing being a hamster means
  23. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce being a hamster means
  24. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means
  25. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means Enjoying being alive
  26. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means Enjoying being alive Loving fellow hamsters
  27. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means Enjoying being alive Loving fellow hamsters Family friends time
  28. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means Enjoying being alive Loving fellow hamsters Family friends time Expressing yourself
  29. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Innovation Solving

    problems Providing Doing commerce Figuring out how the world works being a hamster means Enjoying being alive Loving fellow hamsters Family friends time Expressing yourself Hanging out and laughing
  30. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Achievement being

    a hamster means
  31. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Achievement Self-expression

    being a hamster means
  32. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Achievement Self-expression

    Pushing yourself being a hamster means
  33. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Achievement Self-expression

    Pushing yourself being a hamster means Community
  34. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel means Achievement Self-expression

    Pushing yourself being a hamster means Community Faith
  35. @talraviv talraviv.org both are fantastic

  36. @talraviv talraviv.org both are us

  37. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuut

  38. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuuuuuuuuuut

  39. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut

  40. @talraviv talraviv.org we take hamster wheels quite seriously

  41. @talraviv talraviv.org the reason is asymmetry

  42. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel visible markers

    vs when youre just being a hamster invisible joy
  43. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel visible markers

    it’s easy to showcase accomplishments vs when youre just being a hamster invisible joy it’s hard to showcase love & family & friendship
  44. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel visible markers

    it’s easy to showcase accomplishments salary vs when youre just being a hamster invisible joy it’s hard to showcase love & family & friendship ?
  45. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel visible markers

    it’s easy to showcase accomplishments salary house size vs when youre just being a hamster invisible joy it’s hard to showcase love & family & friendship ? ?
  46. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel visible markers

    it’s easy to showcase accomplishments salary house size title vs when youre just being a hamster invisible joy it’s hard to showcase love & family & friendship ? ? ?
  47. @talraviv talraviv.org I mean, have you ever gotten an intro

    like this?
  48. @talraviv talraviv.org I mean, have you ever gotten an intro

    like this? (I made this up)
  49. @talraviv talraviv.org or a public profile that highlighted this?

  50. @talraviv talraviv.org or a public profile that highlighted this? or

    gamified this?
  51. @talraviv talraviv.org or a public profile that highlighted this? or

    gamified this? nerds, please don’t build this startup you’ll ruin everything
  52. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel society awards

    prestige vs when youre just being a hamster no award ceremonies needed
  53. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel stuff goes

    in your twitter/fb/linkedin/ corporate bio vs when youre just being a hamster no need to document this publicly
  54. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel stuff goes

    in your twitter/fb/linkedin/ corporate bio (people realize the narrative is more important) vs when youre just being a hamster no need to document this publicly (people who document this are missing the point)
  55. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel we compare

    ourselves vs when youre just being a hamster nothing to compare on
  56. @talraviv talraviv.org when youre on the hamster wheel we compare

    ourselves we get competitive vs when youre just being a hamster nothing to compare on we can’t compete
  57. @talraviv talraviv.org they say… “what gets measured gets improved”

  58. @talraviv talraviv.org they say… “what gets measured gets improved” and

    never mention… “what gets measured is what we irrationally fixate on and feel bad about, regardless of our values”
  59. @talraviv talraviv.org as a result

  60. @talraviv talraviv.org we take hamster wheels quite seriously

  61. @talraviv talraviv.org the hamster wheel gets priority vs just being

    a hamster first thing sacrificed
  62. @talraviv talraviv.org the hamster wheel gets priority …but rather endless

    vs just being a hamster first thing sacrificed …but the point of it
  63. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuut

  64. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuuuuuuuuuut

  65. @talraviv talraviv.org buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut

  66. @talraviv talraviv.org From Wikipedia: “Like other rodents, hamsters are highly

    motivated to run in wheels…”
  67. @talraviv talraviv.org “..it is not uncommon to record distances of

    9 km (5.6 mi) being run in one night.”
  68. @talraviv talraviv.org “Hypotheses to explain such high levels of running

    in wheels include a need for activity, substitute for exploration…”
  69. @talraviv talraviv.org “However, free wild mice will run on wheels

    installed in the field…”
  70. @talraviv talraviv.org the hamster wheel problem solving adaptation evolution just

    being a hamster susceptibility passivity stagnation
  71. @talraviv talraviv.org the hamster wheel growth strength just being a

    hamster atrophy weakness
  72. @talraviv talraviv.org the hamster wheel self-expression assert ones self just

    being a hamster fading into group swept around
  73. @talraviv talraviv.org we like our hamster wheels

  74. @talraviv talraviv.org theyre damn FUN

  75. @talraviv talraviv.org its the human condition

  76. @talraviv talraviv.org its the human condition I mean uh, hamster

    condition?
  77. @talraviv talraviv.org Chip on shoulder Status/Ambition Self distraction Intense personality

    people run hard for all sorts of reasons
  78. @talraviv talraviv.org Chip on shoulder Status/Ambition Self distraction Intense personality

    people run hard for all sorts of reasons Mission Love of the game Mastery Curiosity
  79. @talraviv talraviv.org Chip on shoulder Status/Ambition Self distraction Intense personality

    people run hard for all sorts of reasons Mission Love of the game Mastery Curiosity Identity
  80. @talraviv talraviv.org ironically

  81. @talraviv talraviv.org on the hamster wheel wins are short-lived vs

    when youre just being a good hamster long-term fulfillment
  82. @talraviv talraviv.org

  83. @talraviv talraviv.org (When you’re 21, going to Penn, and into

    startups, Josh K is your hero) the linked essay, by Tony Schwartz, is excellent: https://www.nytimes.com/ 2015/05/02/business/dealbook/the-enduring-hunt-for-personal-value.html
  84. @talraviv talraviv.org ~2,300 years earlier

  85. @talraviv talraviv.org

  86. @talraviv talraviv.org …

  87. @talraviv talraviv.org aaaaand in our modern world, we manipulate each

    other to run harder:
  88. @talraviv talraviv.org aaaaand in our modern world, we manipulate each

    other to run harder: ✅ make behaviors countable
  89. @talraviv talraviv.org aaaaand in our modern world, we manipulate each

    other to run harder: ✅ make behaviors countable ✅ make success visible
  90. @talraviv talraviv.org aaaaand in our modern world, we manipulate each

    other to run harder: ✅ make behaviors countable ✅ make success visible ✅ assign prestige to irrational choices
  91. @talraviv talraviv.org ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅

  92. @talraviv talraviv.org ✅ ✅

  93. @talraviv talraviv.org but don’t worry

  94. @talraviv talraviv.org I’m an overachiever

  95. @talraviv talraviv.org so I’ve spent time dealing with hamster wheels

  96. @talraviv talraviv.org so I’ve spent time dealing with hamster wheels

    taking them too seriously
  97. @talraviv talraviv.org so I’ve spent time dealing with hamster wheels

    taking them too seriously & comparing myself to others
  98. @talraviv talraviv.org here are three tactics that help me

  99. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE

  100. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE HANG WITH

    PEOPLE WHO KNOW ITS A HAMSTER WHEEL
  101. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE HANG WITH

    PEOPLE WHO KNOW ITS A HAMSTER WHEEL HANG IN PLACES THAT HAVE MORE THAN JUST HAMSTER WHEELS
  102. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE

  103. @talraviv talraviv.org …which of these gives you a pang in

    your gut…
  104. @talraviv talraviv.org they wrote a book and you didnt

  105. @talraviv talraviv.org they got your title 3 years younger

  106. @talraviv talraviv.org they went to a college you didnt get

    into
  107. @talraviv talraviv.org their business did better than yours

  108. @talraviv talraviv.org they published more papers than you

  109. @talraviv talraviv.org their salary is higher than yours

  110. @talraviv talraviv.org they live in a bigger house

  111. @talraviv talraviv.org they read more books on goodreads

  112. @talraviv talraviv.org they have 10x more twitter followers

  113. @talraviv talraviv.org more people report to them than to you

  114. @talraviv talraviv.org they got a bigger grant than you did

  115. @talraviv talraviv.org they are having more fun on instagram

  116. @talraviv talraviv.org they have lots of trophies

  117. @talraviv talraviv.org they have lots of trophies (it just dawned

    on me why awards are metallic and shiny)
  118. @talraviv talraviv.org feel it?

  119. @talraviv talraviv.org so if someone is visibly doing more than

    you
  120. @talraviv talraviv.org just imagine their lil’ hamster wheel

  121. @talraviv talraviv.org and they’re a cute hamster running furiously

  122. @talraviv talraviv.org while staying in place

  123. @talraviv talraviv.org

  124. @talraviv talraviv.org PS: not even mentioning survivorship bias, randomness, or

    inequality If you want to read about some math and numbers: 1) A cool computer simulation of skill & chance: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610395/if-youre-so-smart-why-arent-you- rich-turns-out-its-just-chance/ 2) Fooled by Randomness by Nasim Taleb will make you look differently at the “brilliant visionaries” of Wall Street. 3) Numbers that question the “meritocracy” of tech: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/10/12/silicon-valley-diversity-tech- hiring-computer-science-graduates-african-american-hispanic/14684211/ and pretty much the rest of US and World history
  125. @talraviv talraviv.org and also remember, it stays in place

  126. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel 2x more doesn’t

    make you 2x more loved
  127. @talraviv talraviv.org running on the hamster wheel 2x more doesn’t

    make you 2x more loved “I know many people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.” Warren Buffett
  128. @talraviv talraviv.org My dad is a great dad. I got

    really lucky.
  129. @talraviv talraviv.org The other day I watched him give a

    lecture And remembered the cool stuff he pioneered Like self-driving vehicles, 30 years ago
  130. @talraviv talraviv.org and I noticed something: as much as I

    tried to cast him differently and see him as a pioneer etc. it was kind of hard and didn’t register
  131. @talraviv talraviv.org and I noticed something: as much as I

    tried to cast him differently and see him as a pioneer etc. it was kind of hard and didn’t register …cause he’s just my dad
  132. @talraviv talraviv.org So, it’s just a funny wheel

  133. @talraviv talraviv.org HANG WITH PEOPLE WHO KNOW ITS A HAMSTER

    WHEEL
  134. @talraviv talraviv.org If I meet someone who injects their successes

    out of context into conversation
  135. @talraviv talraviv.org If I meet someone who injects their successes

    out of context into conversation The house(s) they bought Their career Their business success
  136. @talraviv talraviv.org Or if I meet a new person socially

    who steers the conversation to be about our jobs
  137. @talraviv talraviv.org Or if I meet a new person socially

    who steers the conversation to be about our jobs Or their first or second question is “what do you do?”
  138. @talraviv talraviv.org It’s not impossible we’ll get along But I

    keep my distance
  139. @talraviv talraviv.org It’s not impossible we’ll get along But I

    keep my distance Even though (perhaps because) I love my work
  140. @talraviv talraviv.org Looking back I’ve noticed

  141. @talraviv talraviv.org Looking back I’ve noticed the people I’ve respected

    the most
  142. @talraviv talraviv.org Looking back I’ve noticed the people I’ve respected

    the most and friends I’ve kept in touch with the most
  143. @talraviv talraviv.org Looking back I’ve noticed the people I’ve respected

    the most and friends I’ve kept in touch with the most are friends who don’t define themselves by their hamster wheel
  144. @talraviv talraviv.org it helps if you

  145. @talraviv talraviv.org HANG IN PLACES THAT HAVE MORE THAN JUST

    HAMSTER WHEELS
  146. @talraviv talraviv.org I minimize my social media aside from being

    addictive and soulless they’re full of weirdly visible counts of success ✅
  147. @talraviv talraviv.org I minimize my social media aside from being

    addictive and soulless they’re full of weirdly visible counts of success and carefully crafted feeds and bios (& literal checkmarks) ✅
  148. @talraviv talraviv.org I minimize my social media aside from being

    addictive and soulless they’re full of weirdly visible counts of success and carefully crafted feeds and bios (& literal checkmarks) regardless of what matters ✅
  149. @talraviv talraviv.org I minimize my social media aside from being

    addictive and soulless they’re full of weirdly visible counts of success and carefully crafted feeds and bios (& literal checkmarks) regardless of what matters (if it makes you money, enjoy) ✅
  150. @talraviv talraviv.org Or at work

  151. @talraviv talraviv.org Or at work People higher up in the

    org chart talk in a way to make you think you aspire to be higher up in the org chart
  152. @talraviv talraviv.org Or at work People higher up in the

    org chart talk in a way to make you think you aspire to be higher up in the org chart Though objectively, past a certain salary, it’s not worth the money, title, stress, etc.
  153. @talraviv talraviv.org Or when people brag about how little they

    sleep, how focused they are, etc.
  154. @talraviv talraviv.org Or when people brag about how little they

    sleep, how focused they are, etc. I just imagine them on their little hamster wheel and go talk to someone else
  155. @talraviv talraviv.org Geographically, SF, DC, NY, LA… are all cities

    where you can easily believe the hamster wheel is all there is in life
  156. @talraviv talraviv.org Geographically, SF, DC, NY, LA… are all cities

    where you can easily believe the hamster wheel is all there is in life
  157. @talraviv talraviv.org so…

  158. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE

  159. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE HANG WITH

    PEOPLE WHO KNOW ITS A HAMSTER WHEEL
  160. @talraviv talraviv.org REMEMBER HAMSTER WHEELS SPIN IN PLACE HANG WITH

    PEOPLE WHO KNOW ITS A HAMSTER WHEEL HANG IN PLACES THAT HAVE MORE THAN JUST HAMSTER WHEELS
  161. @talraviv talraviv.org Paul Buchheit is this tech-famous dude who did

    a bunch of early important things at Google like create Gmail and Adsense. He later became an investor in a bunch of companies, etc. etc.
  162. @talraviv talraviv.org Paul Buchheit is this tech-famous dude who did

    a bunch of early important things at Google like create Gmail and Adsense. He later became an investor in a bunch of companies, etc. etc. but that’s not why I’m quoting him
  163. @talraviv talraviv.org his brother Steve Buchheit passed away from cancer

    at 33 years old and Paul later wrote this:
  164. @talraviv talraviv.org “Sometimes, when I write about startups or other

    interests of mine, I worry that perhaps I'm communicating the wrong priorities. “Investing money, creating new products, and all the other things we do are wonderful games and can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember that it’s all just a game.
  165. @talraviv talraviv.org “What's most important is that we are good

    too each other, and ourselves. “If we ‘win,’ but have failed to do that, then we have lost. Winning is nothing.
  166. @talraviv talraviv.org “This doesn't mean that we can't push ourselves

    or stretch our own limits. Those things can be very healthy, but only when done for their own sake.
  167. @talraviv talraviv.org “Please be good to each other, and yourself.”

  168. @talraviv talraviv.org the modern world is a weird place

  169. @talraviv talraviv.org after safety and health, what should I do

    with my time?
  170. @talraviv talraviv.org

  171. @talraviv talraviv.org All of the above.

  172. @talraviv talraviv.org However much I want.

  173. @talraviv talraviv.org However much I want.

  174. @talraviv talraviv.org the end

  175. @talraviv talraviv.org whew

  176. @talraviv talraviv.org you can stop here

  177. @talraviv talraviv.org go to the bathroom

  178. @talraviv talraviv.org stretch

  179. @talraviv talraviv.org i have a small epilogue

  180. @talraviv talraviv.org theres a question that kept popping up in

    my mind
  181. @talraviv talraviv.org which is

  182. @talraviv talraviv.org what about good causes that help people or

    save people
  183. @talraviv talraviv.org like medical research

  184. @talraviv talraviv.org like government policy

  185. @talraviv talraviv.org like competitive markets

  186. @talraviv talraviv.org like mission driven organizations

  187. @talraviv talraviv.org like aid to developing countries

  188. @talraviv talraviv.org like “justified wars”

  189. @talraviv talraviv.org sigh

  190. @talraviv talraviv.org so

  191. @talraviv talraviv.org They are all important forms of problem solving

    even urgent
  192. @talraviv talraviv.org but

  193. @talraviv talraviv.org how do I say this

  194. @talraviv talraviv.org theyre really really big hamster wheels

  195. @talraviv talraviv.org capitalism tribalism industrialization

  196. @talraviv talraviv.org capitalism tribalism industrialization all those big forces I

    try not to think about
  197. @talraviv talraviv.org all hamster wheels

  198. @talraviv talraviv.org I thought about it and realized that no

    matter how pure the cause
  199. @talraviv talraviv.org I thought about it and realized that no

    matter how pure the cause antibiotics
  200. @talraviv talraviv.org I thought about it and realized that no

    matter how pure the cause antibiotics aiding poverty
  201. @talraviv talraviv.org I thought about it and realized that no

    matter how pure the cause antibiotics aiding poverty defending the homeland
  202. @talraviv talraviv.org I thought about it and realized that no

    matter how pure the cause antibiotics aiding poverty defending the homeland or insert your fav noun: “the war on _____”
  203. @talraviv talraviv.org Two things are true 1) The problem was

    caused by other people’s smart-at-the-time solutions
  204. @talraviv talraviv.org Two things are true 1) The problem was

    caused by other people’s smart-at-the-time solutions 2) The faster/harder we solve it, the more new problems we’ll create
  205. @talraviv talraviv.org the only real solutions are marathons not sprints

  206. @talraviv talraviv.org the only real solutions mean slowing down the

    hamster wheel
  207. @talraviv talraviv.org the only real solutions mean slowing down the

    hamster wheel a little bit
  208. @talraviv talraviv.org not entirely just a little bit

  209. @talraviv talraviv.org that to me is the lesson of Martin

    Luther King Gandhi Thich Nhat Hanh
  210. @talraviv talraviv.org that to me is the lesson of Martin

    Luther King Gandhi Thich Nhat Hanh and all the less famous people like teachers and clergy and kind strangers who do the same
  211. @talraviv talraviv.org and the only way to slow down the

    enormous wheels is to run a bit less on our own
  212. @talraviv talraviv.org and the only way to slow down the

    enormous wheels is to do things person to person
  213. @talraviv talraviv.org and the only way to slow down the

    enormous wheels is to do things frustratingly gradually
  214. @talraviv talraviv.org and the only way to slow down the

    enormous wheels is to have a strong back and soft front https://onbeing.org/programs/brene-brown-strong-back-soft-front-wild-heart-feb2018/ HT Buster
  215. @talraviv talraviv.org “I have seen ecologists who are very angry.

  216. @talraviv talraviv.org “I have seen ecologists who are very angry.

    There’s a lot of pollution in them. Anger. Impatience. Hate. What happens?
  217. @talraviv talraviv.org “I have seen ecologists who are very angry.

    There’s a lot of pollution in them. Anger. Impatience. Hate. What happens? “They cannot serve the cause of the environment with that kind of energies within them.
  218. @talraviv talraviv.org “I have seen ecologists who are very angry.

    There’s a lot of pollution in them. Anger. Impatience. Hate. What happens? “They cannot serve the cause of the environment with that kind of energies within them. “The activist should change himself first.” Thich Nhat Hanh youtube.com/watch?v=Xvtig8Fm6eU
  219. @talraviv talraviv.org dont ask me how to do this in

    practice
  220. @talraviv talraviv.org this is a hard concept

  221. @talraviv talraviv.org i can write about it but i dont

    know how to do it
  222. @talraviv talraviv.org like the next war or medical discovery or

    election or heated issue
  223. @talraviv talraviv.org wtf do i do to slow the down

    wheel
  224. @talraviv talraviv.org wtf do i do to slow the down

    wheel maybe its what I dont do
  225. @talraviv talraviv.org all i know

  226. @talraviv talraviv.org is its all hamster wheels