The Tinderbox

Embers Vol. 0

Announcing Embers

Writing is really hard. It's this battle between repeating what others wrote and sprinkling in your own ideas. If you're like me, it's even worse because you want to exhaust every possible angle before you publish, and this usually means you write way too much.

Writing is also hard because you have all these thoughts swimming in your mind, but you have to physically punch the keys in order to pour them out. The problem is that this is more of a drip, since you're frequently searching for the backspace.

The dialogue in our head makes sense, and flows elaborately, but translating it into writing, through any medium, is inefficient. Without digressing too much, expanding human output is a seminal focus for me. Right now our output is constrained by our tools, which means that good writing takes time.

Living in the future is fun, but it's hard to plan out everything ahead of time, and I decided I should try experimenting out in the open.

Given that life invariably pops up, it's hard to hammer out long form work frequently. Instead of waiting until each new piece is ready, I figured it'd be more useful if I shared half crafted, semi-formed thoughts, even as I'm nibbling on them. I call them Embers.

This won't follow a linear path; there'll be different twists and turns based on what I'm reading, hearing, and synthesizing. But there will be a directional focus: I'm building my worldview, and much of it is formed around technology, philosophy, and human ingenuity.

As I consolidate each of these embers, they'll eventually glow into fully fledged thoughts, which will brighten the long form pieces I'm forging in the background.

Here are the goals I have for Embers:

  1. Act as an external catalog that show how I think

  2. Create a network of ideas that I can link to future essays

  3. Invite others to engage with these ideas with me

There’s one other thing.

I have a confession. I’m writing a book. I don’t know what it will be called or how it will be structured, (though I’m pretty sure it will not be short), but Embers will guide me through the process.

See, for the past 80 years, the world has experienced its most peaceful period ever. At the same time, we’ve gone from fighting wars with horses to dropping atom bombs. We’ve sent Man to the moon, we’ve discovered, and then mapped, DNA, the code of the universe. We’ve also connected the world’s information, and taken the machines that flew the astronauts to the moon, shrunk them down, and put them in our pockets. There is no comparable seismic shift in humanity’s trajectory than the last century. And by almost all accounts, change is accelerating.

What everyone is starting to intuitively feel, though they might not consciously recognize it, is the order of the 80 years is starting to unravel. There are plenty of reasons, of which I’ll elaborate upon, that are all coming together at the perfect dose, and at the perfect time.

The “Way The World Works” is changing, which means that the playbook for how to succeed is becoming obsolete. The institutions and the narratives we grew up with were created around this old world order. Perhaps this explains why so much of the world seems broken all at once.

But not everything is. We’re at a major inflection point for Humanity, numerous risks are mounting, but at the same time, we’re at a point when we can do so much good, at such a rapid rate. I’m fiercely convinced we’ll find our way. After all, the problems we face were created by us, which means we have the ability to solve them. We just have to figure out how.

This is a deeply nuanced discussion, and one that everyone needs to engage with. Otherwise, we’ll be lost at sea, with no way to navigate forward.

I’m eager to share what I’m thinking about, and I’m excited to learn from you as we embark on this journey, whittling one ember at a time.