Embracing Your Weirdness (EP.62) | Chris Williamson on Infinite Loops with Jim O’Shaughnessy

Check out the Infinite Loops episode page

Key Takeaways

  • “The things that are going to happen, are going to happen. There is nothing unsovereign about allowing nature to take you forward.” – Chris Williamson
    • Embrace your weirdness, release the tiller, love yourself unconditionally, and life will take you to the right place
    • Many of the things you value about yourself, you didn’t choose. Take advantage of what you do have!
    • In business, if you do what everyone else is doing, you guarantee average results
    • Understand the difference between good ideas/policies and conceptual inertia
  • Modern Wisdom Takeaways:
    • “The persona is incapable of receiving love, it can only receive praise” Aubrey Marcus
      • Don’t let your value be dependent on your role
    • Let the good shit stick – Idea from Tim Ferriss
      • You never know what idea or conversation is going to turn into a profound experience
  • People on Twitter are very prematurely certain and quickly bind an idea to their sense of self, and will aggressively defend themselves due to lack of ‘skin in the game’ and direct social costs
    • People like Sam Harris and Joe Rogan are great examples of having high social costs for supporting their own opinion
    • Our institutions are continuously losing public trust by not respecting the responsibility associated with the social costs of their information distribution & communication
  • On the internet, if you sell your integrity, you can’t buy it back
    • The internet’s grift radar is so fine-tuned, your own audience will come after you

Intro

  • Chris Williamson (@ChrisWillx) is a YouTuber, TEDx Speaker, ex-Party Boy, and host of the Modern Wisdom podcast. Chris and Jim discuss life lessons and mantras from hosting the Modern Wisdom podcast as well as the uneasy relationship between the internet and society.
  • Host: (@jposhaughnessy)

Twitter, The Internet, and Society

  • “Not everything I tweet is meant to be taken seriously, sometimes I just want to see the reaction” – Chris Williamson
    • Jim does it occasionally to generate data on his audience
    • “Tweets help you map your location in the cultural ether” – Chris Williamson
  • People on Twitter are very prematurely certain and quickly bind an idea to their sense of self
    • When you attack the idea, you attack them
    • Leading to the collapse of grand narratives and the rapid mistrust in institutions
  • If you don’t have ‘skin in the game’ (social cost), you can say anything
    • People like Sam Harris and Joe Rogan are great examples of having high social costs for supporting their own opinion
  • Narrative Collapse – “When a planet is connected, a time inevitably arrives when it becomes difficult to figure out what is actually going on. Video and audio can be faked, testimony isn’t reliable, all truths fail into a relative flatness, this is more dangerous than any doomsday weapon…” – Jim O’Shaughnessy quoting The Fifth Science
  • On the internet, if you sell your integrity, you can’t buy it back
    • The internet’s grift radar is so fine-tuned, your own audience will come after you
    • “You can’t outhustle being uncool” – Chris Williamson

Behavioral Science

  • Many of the things you value about yourself, you didn’t choose
    • IQ, height, physical attributes, etc.
      • IQ is 80% correlated to your parents, you have 20% to work with
    • Imagine if you could quantify hard work or will-power as a valuable attribute
      • This could differentiate unfairness vs unwillingness in life circumstances
    • Assortative mating – like prefers like, which forms rigid classes and communities.
      • Example: In Silicon Valley, genius engineers partner with other engineers and birth more engineers.
    • Chris believes the US has a problem with the ‘you can do anything‘ mantra. A lot of negative choices derive from that option, like school shootings and rioting.
    • Chris also believes the UK has a problem with too rigid class systems and lacks opportunity for mobility
  • Conceptual Inertia – previous intellectual frameworks that underpin the way we see the world but they linger around for far longer than the institutions that implemented them
    • “All religions start as marketing campaigns” – Jim O’Shaughnessy

Modern Wisdom Takeaways

  • “The persona is incapable of receiving love, it can only receive praise” Aubrey Marcus
    • If you play a role, any success will feel hollow. Success is tied to the role and not you.
    • We don’t love Hugh Jackman, we love Wolverine
  • Let the good shit stick – Idea from Tim Ferriss
    • You never know what idea or conversation is going to turn into a profound experience
  • “Release the tiller” – Jed McKenna
    • The tiller is what is used to steer a boat
    • Jed believes that most of our suffering comes from simply gripping the tiller too hard
      • If you force the tiller, you often have worse results than letting the water flow with the tiller naturally
      • “The things that are going to happen, are going to happen. There is nothing unsovereign about allowing nature to take you forward” – Chris Williamson
  • Be attracted to everyone but choose one – Idea from Jordan Peterson
    • This helped reset Chris’ value system when it came to relationships
    • Denied the stereotype that getting all the girls is ‘cool’ as defined by society

Embracing Your Weirdness

  • We are fear-based creatures and are afraid to show our true selves, take charge and embrace your weirdness
  • Why did you fall in love with your partner?
    • “We fall in love with people for their idiosyncrasies and their quirks” – Chris Williamson
    • It’s never because of how easily replaceable they are or their bland views and their predictability.
  • In business, if you do what everyone else is doing, you guarantee average results
    • “No one can beat you at being you” – Chris Williamson quoting Naval
  • Embrace saying ‘I don’t know’ – keeps you true to yourself
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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