(the writer's, shown to readers)

The fundamental goal

To improve the lives of humans.


Understanding the history of definitions of human nature. What kinds of human natures have been considered best, and why.

Specifically I'm learning Attic Greek and focusing on the history and philosophy of Greece c. 700-200BC. This should occupy several years, and while doing this I'll be laying the ground for later studies of Roman civilization, which will come next. I'm then planning on moving on to studying the Middle Ages, the rise of Islam, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the 19th and 20th centuries, which basically constitutes a review of the development of civilization in the West and the West's near neighbours.

On this site I'll be writing about how I'm doing all of this, and about a few of the things I notice along the way.

Okay, but how does that improve the lives of humans?

I don't think people ultimately know what people want or should want, let alone how we're all supposed to be able to have a decent shot at getting what we want together. These are the surfaces of difficult questions, questions which are either left mostly unanswered, answered only by bromides, or considered impossible to answer at all. I disagree: I think these are questions that have answers, and that although they're difficult questions, we should try to find these answers.

In short: in order for us to improve the lives of humans, we have to know what 'improvement' means for them and therefore what humans want. I'm trying to do this on some of the larger accessible levels, by looking at the history of the ideas that civilizations in the West have had about what humans are, what humans want, and what humans should want, and how these ideas have changed over time.

I also believe that this pursuit is made more timely by the development of AI. General Artificial Intelligence will represent the codification of human ethics. Whether we codify our ethics well or poorly is up to us. That AI will likely look to the history of human civilization to gain the broadest possible dataset of what humans want. I think we'll want some people to steep themselves in that dataset too, and part of my longer goal is hastening the development of those people.

Right now when it comes to learning, and my writing, and the larger sweep of my life, this is my current path.