I am disappointed

Warning: Seriously epic post. Better get a cup of coffee before reading it! :coffee:

Earlier this day I had the mad idea to solve problems by being angry in an appropriate manner about people for appropriate reasons. But a few minutes ago I realized that it’s mostly not anger that I feel, but disappointment, with some sprinkles of anger. Anger is directed mostly against the negative, but my disappointment is mainly directed at the lack of the positive, which I’ve come to believe to be far more devastating!

There is so much disappointment in me and I feel that I shouldn’t contain it all, because sharing it might actually trigger some positive change. Nobody is exempt from my disappointment, not even the people I admire most. My disappointment runs deep and it feeds an ocean of despair. It is fed by all the nonsense, idiocy and needless suffering the world which you, and I mean you as in the generic human being and you personally haven’t been able to fix!

It is my hope that something good will arise from sharing my feelings and thoughts. I’m not sure whether that will actually happen, so I take the experimental approach and just do it to find out empirically whether it’s really worth something. Perhaps it’s better to take all the insults (or most of them) and gulp them down quietly, but that doesn’t feel quite right. Of course, you are free to share your own disappointment or other feelings about me, the world, or anything else.

I am quite aware that I will come about as quite negative, and that’s ok. After all, there is all this negatively perceived stuff out there in the world with all its real causes, and we need to acknowledge it. My believe is that my disappointment points to real problems in the world – problems which we could solve, if we had more wisdom and more resources. I do not claim to have answers to all of these problems. For some problems I do have ideas and approaches, but not for all of them.

The first step to solving problems is to identify and acknowledge them, even if they feel indomitable. I am well aware that in the past I have insisted on constructiveness, on proposing real solutions, rather than simply bemoaning all that is going wrong. This demand has arisen out of my own disappointment about “pointless” talk about problems without having a real clue how to address them constructively. So why am I taking a step back here and simply want to express my disappointment?
Because it matters! We are emotional beings and our emotions matter a lot. Wearing a mask of rationality (or conformity) just hides the simple fact that on a deep level, our behaviour is motivated by our feelings. This means we are being at least partially dishonest with ourselves and with others. When we are not completely honest, we have a hard time approaching truth. And when we don’t approach truth and deal with it appropriately, we are not effective at dealing with reality. Therefore we won’t reach our goals, or any goals, as quickly as we’d want to.

So, let me share my major disappointments with you. Oh, and yes, I may be seen as too harsh, and that’s ok. Seriously, if you are not in a state in which you can cope with harsh criticism and painful realizations, then you shouldn’t read this post now. Bookmark it for when you are ready to face the abyss. Perhaps reading this will open up chances for you to grow. Or it might just hurt you and throw you into a phase of despair, and that’s ok. You will learn how to deal with that, eventually, and it will make you stronger.

First of all, let me start with some general misgiving about the ways we manage our lives and the people and the world around us. They are dysfunctional, and if you are intelligent, deep down you realize that! In principle, it could be acceptable if we, our systems, and the world were simply horrible – as long as we acknowledged that they are horrible and did our actual best to change things to the better. But we don’t, and that’s why I am so deeply disappointed!

Now, let’s start with the beginning. Growing up in this strange world. I and everyone else grow up in societies which have certain expectations from us. To some degree, that’s ok. We are generally happier when we don’t have to fear that the behaviour of some person might cause us deep suffering. So, an expectation that people shouldn’t cause unjustified and pointless suffering would be quite reasonable. If that was all that was expected, I wouldn’t have any real reason to complain. But it’s not! What is expected from us is to conform to restrictive systems and social norms limiting our freedom and well-being: Family, kindergarten, school, workplaces, religions, ideologies, governments, corporations, society in general, meaning people like you and me who have been bombarded by stupid memes which we reproduce without reflecting whether they actually make sense.

I recall that in my earliest years on this planet I had this assumption, or even demand, that my parents should be able to read my mind in order to know what’s actually wrong and fix that appropriately without having to resort to pointless experimentation (like “come on, mom. Just read my mind, it’s can’t be that hard!”). My discovery that humans can’t actually read minds was the first big disappointment in my life. No, I’m really unapologetic about this: It’s really terrible that parents can’t read the minds of their children, and I suggest we should go ahead and fix that, once we are technologically able to do so.

Socializing with other kids in kindergarten. What I recall there is that there was the tendency for me to be socially excluded for my migrant family background. That’s something terribly silly. So, I was disappointed by these judgemental kids. Seriously, why do human children have problems dealing with people who are just slightly different? I am disappointed by nature for allowing for such judgemental behaviour and I’m disappointed by nurture for feeding it.

And then school. I am disappointed by impatient teachers prone to outbursts of anger. And I am disappointed by society for not coming up with a system for raising the young in an environment that actually respects and accommodates all of their human needs. Frontal lectures with dozens of pupils having to sit still and listen without the power to determine the speed and direction of what is taught? Seriously? I am so disappointed by society for treating children like resources that have to be formed to become functioning cogs in the big machinery of society – because it doesn’t have the intelligence, empathy, creativity, wisdom, or power to realize that we could totally reinvent education.

So, school is a system that isn’t appropriate to the needs of any child, but it gets worse. It turned out that I was rather gifted when it came to my intelligence, but there was no appropriate way to deal with that. There’s a thread in which I criticize that issue in depth: The role of adequate support for special individuals. Instead, I was told not to learn ahead out of books, and not to try to answer every single question as first pupil. I was quite disappointed by that bullshit. And it made me hold back more than I was comfortable with. But no, there was no compensation for that. I didn’t skip any class, wasn’t sent to any special school, mostly because of superficial arguments about losing friends and social cohesion and stuff like that. Now you could say “so what?”. Well, it’s really hard to get into rapport with peers from your age group when the difference in intelligence is so high that this leads to a divergence of interests. My brother was a nerd and had a significant influence on me, so I became a nerd, too, and that made it hard for me to get really rewarding social interactions with the people at school. So, I got relatively bored, and it seems that this (and of course the other bullshit at school) made me kinda aggressive. I released this aggressiveness in more or less friendly brawls in the school yard. Unfortunately, some other kids were not very amused by that stress release technique and hurt me so hard that I thought I could die. That made me fear other humans. And it made me painfully aware of my own mortality.

I became more reclusive and came to the conclusion that watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and playing video games were superior ways to grow up than facing the horrors of school. Nevertheless, I bowed to the pressure to conform and continued going to school as if nothing was wrong. It may be connected to these issues that I soon afterwards developed the first symptoms of ME/CFS. My youthful energy was drained prematurely and I had no idea what was wrong. I am disappointed by my parents, teachers, and doctors for not having the sensitivity to detect that there was something seriously wrong with me, and for having no clue what to do about it. Life stopped being really fun and every social obligation became an unpleasant chore. I tried staying as tough as possible given the circumstances. But I’ve become very obsessed with video games in order to have a way to deal with the discomfort and pain. If I hadn’t had that escape, things would probably have turned out much worse than they actually have. Luckily, I only suffered from periods of intense depression only occasionally. My parents, teachers, and doctors were only minimally helpful for dealing with that problem. I was quite disappointed by their inability to help, or even to really understand me. It’s not that I had no friends at school, but the friends I had didn’t suffice to take away my general unhappiness.

Oh, and I was very eager to learn, but I soon had to realize that school and my parents weren’t able to supply me with the resources I would have needed to be reasonably entertained and engaged, or even occupied by interesting stuff. Of course, I was disappointed that I didn’t have a resourceful family, or something like a really supportive school, or any peers that could have helped out significantly. So, yeah, video games were really the best option given the relative lack of other reasonable alternatives.

Ah, but that wasn’t everything. My lack of social integration, happiness, and energy, but also my level of intelligence and curiosity, together with the amount of challenges I had to face early on in my life have made me quite thoughtful. I have become interested in philosophy rather early, but I’ve also been disappointed that it didn’t actually provide me with the answers and orientation I would have hoped to get. That made me develop the ambition to become the best philosopher ever, in order to fix that and find all the answers I wanted, lol. I weeped bitterly when I thought to have realized to be a better philosopher than Nietzsche was, seriously. After high school, I tried to write a book about my philosophical thoughts at that time. My friends were quite impressed by my depth and ideas, but I seriously lacked the skills to actually do the really hard work of writing a book. That made me very disappointed.

Oh, and shortly before I finished high school I had a totally spontaneous extremely intense satori-like spiritual summit experience. That’s something I totally wasn’t disappointed about, because it was the best thing that I have ever experienced – by a very large margin! Instead, I was disappointed about not being able to relate to others about that experience. There wasn’t an abundance of self-help groups for enlightened 18 year old students at that time. sigh! Anyway, it was the last straw that pushed me to totally identify as freaking philosopher on the path to enlighten everyone – somehow.

After having dealt with Nietzsche, I have read Wittgenstein and found out that I need to become a mathematician to be a really good philosopher. And I wanted to package my ideas in the form of science fiction stories, so I studied mathematics and physics. Yeah, even though I was most interested in philosophy, I didn’t actually study it, because of several reasons, but well suffice to say that I had friends who studied philosophy and were kinda disappointed by the experience. Oh, and I was also very interested in psychology and computer science, which I haven’t studied either, because of my practically and idealistically motivated decision to study mathematics and physics. And I didn’t have the energy to study more than that, because I still suffered from ME/CFS.

About 5 semesters into studying mathematics I found out that this actually was the right decision, as it seems, because what I’ve learned enabled me to develop a philosophy that has granted me such a scarily deep insight into Reality that … I nearly lost my mind … and only dared to talk with few people about it, because of the fear that it will literally blow people’s minds and drive them into despair and suicide. Umm, let’s just say that I was disappointed about the world seemingly not being ready for my insights. Now you might think that I am being delusional here. I actually think it’s better for you to believe that I am, because the alternative is actually worse, in some sense. So, I’m not even trying to convince you otherwise. Anyway, I am probably wrong about mankind not being ready for my insights, because there’s already so much harmful memetic nonsense out there that adding my own memes would probably do more good than additional harm. Nevertheless, it’s extremely hard for me to write down my thoughts coherently and understandably, because of ME/CFS. That’s something I am absolutely horribly disappointed about.

[Edit (2015-04-24): It is interesting to note that there are a few people in the Less Wrong community with similar ideas who have less qualms about confronting the world with potentially radically paradigm shifting world views. The philosophy I’ve talked about in the paragraph above is related to the thread “Shock Level 5: Big Worlds and Modal Realism” on the Less Wrong blog (I really like the use of the “quotient” idea there). In some directions, my own philosophy goes deeper down that rabbit hole. But it seems to be a kind of rabbit hole that several highly intelligent people apparently discover independently again and again.]

A year later, my dad suddenly died. I thought my life was over at that point in time. I was barely able to fix our broken relationship shortly before he passed away :frowning: It turned out that he knew he heard a dangerous heart condition, but didn’t dare to do the necessary medical procedures to deal with the problem appropriately. I was disappointed. But that was something I could really relate to, because I have been disappointed again and again by the medical establishment.

This event didn’t seem to have been healthy for me as I had developed increasing issues with ME/CFS and phases of depression. Around that time I also came in contact with transhumanists. It’s safe to say that I have been a transhumanist since I was about 16 years old, but back then I hadn’t heard anything about that philosophy. Transhumanists are interesting persons, and from then on I had a clearly defined group I could relate to. So, I went really down the rabbit hole of transhumanism and got slightly shocked by shock level 4. A mild buzz, compared to the experiences of existential despair I have already dealt with previously.

Anyway, meanwhile things went downhill in my relationships with my family due to a missing understanding and acceptance of who I really was. I was quite disappointed.

Around 2009 I started turning my disappointment with the inefficient and wasteful economic system we all live in into a reputation economy system which I now call Quantified Prestige (another great thing that studying mathematics was good for). I had the hope that this would be taken seriously and that people would support me to develop it into a real web application that could start to change the world. In the groups I’ve presented the system it was kinda taken seriously, of course with some degree of criticism, but at least people were seriously interested in the system. But I was disappointed that nobody wanted to do the work of actually programming QP for me, even though I could describe all the mathematical details and specifications and stuff. Instead, I got told to learn web programming on my own to be able to build a prototype and potentially become a better team leader through my technical expertise. That sounded reasonable enough (though I was still kinda disappointed), so I went ahead and tried implementing QP with the support of some transhumanist friends. Let’s just say that the effort turned out to be a failure, because I got burned out during the process of learning a serious web framework, due to ME/CFS ruining everything for me again. Now, I was terribly disappointed.

Oh, and around the same time I tried writing awesome science fiction stories, which also ended in me succumbing to ME/CFS related burnout. I was very disappointed and disheartened, because writing these stories made me feel more alive than anything else at that time. :sob:

During the following phases of depression I kinda tried to find a way to fix my life, find a sustainable passion that didn’t burn me out. I got more insight into the health issues I had to deal with – still not realizing I actually was dealing with ME/CFS but I slowly got on the track to finding that out. I started blogging and thought I could somehow turn that into some kind of career. It didn’t work out, again because of ME/CFS. Yes, I was quite disappointed, again.

While starting to figure out what was actually wrong with me I tried to finish my mathematics diploma, but I didn’t have the motivation and energy to finish my diploma thesis. Compared to the urgency and epic adventure of changing the world with mind-boggling philosophy, transhumanism, science fiction stories, and an alternative economic system the prospect of dealing with abstract mathematics which had zero apparent practical applications seemed disappointingly unattractive. And, of course, ME/CFS eventually ruined all prospects of finishing my diploma. Basically, I ran out of money and had to apply for social security. I was bitterly disappointed and devastated. Though I was perversely delighted that the horrors of dealing with social security weren’t quite as bad as studying mathematics. The problems with the latter for me were mainly the ME/CFS induced lack of energy that made it impossible for me to learn as much as I would have to, and the super-dry way abstract mathematics was taught, together with almost no apparent connection of higher abstract mathematics to any practical application whatsoever.

Anyway, that’s my current situation. Unemployed due to severe health issues with no proper university degree in my pocket. At the moment I’m looking into entering the IT sector as trainee in order to be better able to finally get this Quantified Prestige thing started. The people I’ve met during that process were all nice and well-meaning, and even helpful to some degree, but nobody really seemed to comprehend the deep issues that I am faced with. Of course, I am disappointed about that.

This year, I’ve set up this forum in the hope to help the transhumanist community, but the resonance was disappointing. And I’ve been very disappointed that the virtual state community Zero State degenerated into a Facebook group that may be relatively active, but ultimately ineffective. Getting people who are used to use Facebook as main communication tool to participate in a more classical self-hosted bulletin board is a frustratingly hard task. I am disappointed that people let Facebook marginalize serious communication platforms.

I’ve recently written a book chapter about universal basic income in the Transpolitica ebook “Anticipating tomorrow’s politics”, which can be read on the Transpolitica page titled “The Case For Universal Prosperity”, but I’m seriously disappointed about that chapter not being discussed or commented on.

Finally, there are some points about transhumanists I am disappointed about:

  • There is some talk, but not much action. Granted, now it looks like some Transhumanist Parties will be formed, but given the actual track record of the activity of transhumanists it will be rather unlikely that these parties will be very active, or even successful.
  • I am quite disappointed about transhumanists in general not being willing to seriously grant rights to all sentient beings. I’m trying to be 99.9% vegan. Of course, I am totally appalled about the level of mindless violence against animals that is present in our current world. And I am seriously disappointed about the absence of efforts to optimize universal well-being for at least all higher vertebrates, or at the very least our own pets!
  • Transhumanists are often disappointingly narrow in their interests. I’m pretty much a universalist and interested in the weirdest and most mundane topics. There’s too much technology-centeredness in transhumanism. Transhumanism should be about improving the human condition with all reasonable means, including rational personal development and smart design of innovative social systems. And meditation, developing emotional and social intelligence, and living as healthily as possible. Also, top notch leadership, marketing and communication skills. Even in areas in which they should be on the forefront like using and developing the most advanced decentralized apps or darknet technologies, transhumanists in general seem to be rather uninterested and unmotivated. I am so disappointed.
  • Finally, transhumanists don’t seem to be eager to talk about emotions. Well, in that they are similar to the typical white, highly educated males who are used to wear a mask of cold and mechanistic rationality. I am disappointed. Especially, because they don’t seem to realize that their interpretation of rationality isn’t the actually most rational one.

There are certainly a lot more things I am disappointed about. Mainly related to human thinking and behaviour. And the medical establishment which is still unable to treat ME/CFS in a really effective way. And people not being open, or authentic, or reflective, or empathic, or even smart. And especially that there are no adequate niches in society for innovative thinkers like me. That’s a really huge waste of potential that can hardly be underestimated!

I am extremely disappointed by the world I live in and every single person I have ever met and heard of, including me. But this is the world I live in, so it is my world and I will fight for it until the very last breath I take! I will not surrender and let everything go to waste! I will fight to overcompensate every single tear that has even been dropped on this planet. Every single injury and every disappointment!

I will change the world eventually! My determination is unbroken. Every challenge and every failure in my way are there to test and harden me. I will rise like a phoenix from the ashes again and again, as often as I need to! But please, help me! I cannot make this world a better place alone. When we work together, we can finally break the cycle of deep disappointments and turn our world into a place that is more than worth living in – for everyone!