Woo Brews Returns- Sobriety and Success in the Information Age
In these unique times, the key to change your life lies in your...
Hello my old friend. I’ve missed you, you wonderful and glorious person. Welcome in, much love, Trav here. It’s been some time since I’ve written in blog format, and I’m excited to be back here with you today. You may have read my writings on Magic: the Gathering back in the day, and been wondering what I’ve been up to. Or maybe this is your first time reading my writing. However you found me, I’m glad you’re here!
Today we’re going to be talking about sobriety and success in the information age. If you’re interested in living a good life and fascinated or confused by the world we live in, this will help you!
Sobriety and Success in the Information Age
Have you been paying attention the past 25 years? The past few decades have featured an unprecedented amount of change in a short period of time. If you think this is normal throughout history, it’s not! Change happens, but almost never this fast. We live in unique times.
In the blink of an eye, almost everyone has a powerful computer and fast internet in their pocket, social media has usurped state media, people are working and learning remotely, artificial intelligence is invalidating huge swaths of jobs, apps are revolutionizing every industry, cybermoney is threatening the entrenched power structure, and so much more. It’s pretty hard to even wrap your head around what’s happening.
It’s happening FAST! What does it all mean and what do you do about it?
Entering the Information Age
Welcome to the information age! Together we are entering a new epoch of time that offers unimaginable rewards or a miserable existence, depending on your cards and how you play them. If you are a gamer, your strategic analysis could give you a huge edge here.
First, let’s cover the terrain of the game by doing a quick recap of human history and the best available strategies for the main epochs, inspired by the awesome book “The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age”.
First, we had the age of hunter gatherers. We spent 99% of our history in small bands foraging and hunting game. Food was plentiful, but could not be stored. People were nomadic and land was abundant, so there was little value in hording or controlling resources. Working too much was discouraged, because over harvesting was actively bad. We had no money or writing. Success in the time of hunting and gathering depended on your health, hunting ability, and social skills within your band.
Some ~10,000 years ago the age of hunter gatherers gave way to the age of agriculture. Food could be stockpiled and wealth could finally built (and stolen). Language and money emerged to manage the stationary economy. People started to spend a lot more hours working because of greater rewards, and diminishing returns of the landscape. Governments were organized to protect property and control borders. Success in the time of agriculture depended on your ability to control land and animals however you could, often through the use of violence.
In the past few hundred years the age of agriculture evolved into the industrial age. We experienced massive breakthroughs in technology, science, chemicals, manufacturing, industry, and so on. Capital could be accumulated like never before. With everything to be built there was no limit on how much work needed to be done and laborers would be asked to work. Government, urbanization, interconnectedness, and new technologies spread faster than ever. Success in the industrial age depended on capital, more than anything. Over time a little could be turned into a lot, or a lot could be turned into a lot more.
Enter the age of information. We are here now. The biggest and most powerful entities are not always governments, but information companies. You know the names. The barrier to entry to anything is lower than it’s ever been. Massive companies are started with an idea and a laptop. Digital infrastructure is free. People are creating new money from scratch. It costs nothing to start a blog, a youtube channel, an e-commerce store, an education program, or a crypto token. Yet the possibility for gains are bigger than ever before. You can win BIG for many generations. But how? The key in the age of information is controlling information, and this often starts with the ideas in your head.
Success in the Information Age
The key to success in the information age is being clever. If you have one good idea you can hit a grand slam that will set your life up forever. This could be creating something or it could be hopping on an innovation early. Never before have good ideas been so rewarded. In ancient times a good idea might help you, but barriers to entry or limited upside made it not as important. Times have changed. Hard work is still very helpful, but not always necessary. More than anything you are rewarded for clarity of thought.
Your success in life may come down to a few key decisions and your execution on whatever follow through actions are created by these decisions. You will have to decide where to go to school, how to pay for it, what career to enter, who to partner with, where to live, when to have kids, what to do with your free time, what to eat, and how to store your money. These are the basics of life, and almost everything else barely makes a difference.
You need to think deeply on these few decisions and make sure you do them right. If you go down the wrong path it doesn’t matter how hard you work whacking a trail, you won’t get to the right destination. Imagine heading East when your destination is West. Because you made a mistake in the big thing you now have to literally circumnavigate the globe to get where you want. It’s possible, but totally unnecessary. Make sure you get it right from the start! Take your time, and do whatever you can to improve your clarity of thought and decision making.
Sobriety In the Information Age
With industry and information comes increased addiction. This is the real epidemic. A huge amount of the population drinks alcohol, smokes weed or tobacco, drinks coffee, eats processed sugar, watches porn, checks social media too often, is hooked on video games, gambling, or has some other kind of self destructive vice. The God of the information age is a dopamine pump. It’s a sad state of affairs for people. Humans as individuals aren’t doing that well. Do you fall into this camp? It’s okay, we’ll talk about how to get out of it later. But first, WHY to be sober.
Sobriety is basically a way to maximize clarity. And with clarity comes better thinking, better decisions, and everything good that comes with that.
Even the mildest intoxication saps your clarity in insidious ways. One huge factor is sleep. Most of the above vices negatively affect sleep, and with poor sleep comes poor decisions, then poor everything. The cost of resources to enable these habits is steep. It’s not just money, but especially time. Using your most vital morning energy to source coffee may seem like a minor thing, but over years, it’s major. That energy could be put to meditative thought or focused on follow through actions. If over time, as commonly happens, your whole social structure is built to support and enable the vices, the opportunity cost becomes everything.
Intoxicating vices destroy your ability to focus wholly, think deeply, and make the right decisions you need to succeed in life. In many cases they directly shorten your time here on Earth. There’s another path…
Sobriety is a commitment that less is more. If you can remove distractions, you will be able to focus. If you are able to focus, you will have clever ideas, clear thinking, and good decisions that will set you up for massive success in the information age.
Do whatever you can to create space for the deep thinking you need to succeed. Choose sobriety, set your boundaries, carve out your time, and protect it!
What is Success in the Information Age?
Now we get to a deep philosophical question. What is success? Is it objective or does it depend on the person? Is it purely fulfilling a biological imperative? Is it money? Before we share a list, let’s talk about time.
It’s easy to say what success is by pointing at what success isn’t. Success is not hating your days, doing things you don’t like, spending your time with people you don’t like, wanting to do something else but feeling stuck. This is a time problem, but it’s also a money problem. Flipping it now, success has a lot to do with having autonomy of your time, and money is a powerful tool in enabling that. It’s not so simple to quit your job and have plenty of free time if you don’t have the money to spend your time how you want to.
In the unique context of the information age, success is being able to spend your time how you choose. This means being in the location of your choosing, saying no to things you don’t want to do, doing the work you want to do, having the schedule you pick, and so on. If you’re not there yet, don’t worry, it’s a goal to shoot for.
Outside of the context of the information age, the concept of success has enduring qualities throughout the ages. Success is in lifestyle. I like “The Blue Zones” concept of happiness, and I’ll share a list of some of the keys here.
Quality time with people you like
Having a dog or other pets
Spending time with family
Doing work you enjoy
Getting daily sunshine and time in nature
Eating high quality food
Having plenty of disposable income and wealth that builds over time
Having a religious or spiritual practice
Pursuing creative endeavors
Consistent high quality sleep
Maintaining autonomy of your body and time
How to Have Yourself a Good Think
Turn off your phone and put it on a shelf. Grab a journal and your water bottle. Put on your shoes, and walk to the nearest park. Sit on a bench under a tree. Now that there are no distractions you can have yourself a good think. This simple practice will give you a real chance to win big in life. A few bad decisions could derail your life, so you must be careful and prudent. One good decision could change everything. Spend appropriate time laboring over a decision. Do your due diligence. Think creatively. Make sure before you act. Act decisively but be willing to change your mind with new information. Continuously fight off distractions, and find time to think. You’ll be surprised what you might come up with.
Thank you for being here with me. It’s been a while since I’ve written like this, and I’m carving out the time in my life to write more. If you found it useful, please let me know by responding.
In the rebirth of “Woo Brews” I’m planning on writing around the theme of Living a Good Life in the Modern Age. I’ll try to include historical context for useful predictions of the future, while writing about strategies for success, sobriety, lifestyle, personal relationships, money (bitcoin) and much more. If there’s a particular topic that speaks to you, please speak to me so I can write about it for you.
If you want more resources or to reach me on another platform, here’s how to do it.
Much love fam,