It is hard to believe, but six years have passed since I started writing this blog. Times passes incredibly fast and seems to accelerate faster and faster each year. It feels like yesterday that I was writing the 5th year anniversary post, or the 4th year, or even the 3rd!
When I started the blog, I had a totally different vision where I wanted to be after six years. Of course, one big thing is that the subject I started writing about, fitness and gaining weight, is completely different from the things that I focus on now. This means that the domain name no longer reflects the core of the subjects that I write about.
However, so far I have held off from migrating to a new domain, due to the complexity of the process, as well as the fact that I don’t have the time to dedicate to this. Another fear is that I would lose all the little traffic that I have due to some of the authority of some of the articles that I have built up.
This blog has been a labor of love, a true testament to the power of intrinsic motivation. Originally, I had thought that after 6 years I would have a much larger audience than I have now. I wanted to use the blog as a way to reflect on things and then engage in a discussion with people in order to discover a greater truth. This aim was one of the reasons why I changed the main subject of the blog to a more broader exploration of how the world works and a focus on polymath skills.
The goal is to help build modern Renaissance Men, something that I believe will help people to better navigate the complex, and ever-changing realities of the future, not only in terms of jobs, but life in general. I started off by trying to build a Renaissance Man Framework small building block by building block, however in the past few years the writing has shifted more into applications of these skills.
Unfortunately, I have not build up the audience that I wanted to, and so some of the things that I aimed to create have not materialized. However, had I been only focused on extrinsic motivation and driven by how many readers I have and I how much money I am making off the blog, I would have quit long ago.
In fact, the blog is a purely loss-making enterprise, where I spend thousands of euros/dollars in order to keep it up. Hosting, domain name, as well as the numerous books I buy in order to thoroughly research the stuff I write about can get quite costly. This is not mentioning the time that I put into writing the articles themselves.
One thing that I have learned is that extrinsic motivation is necessary sometimes to get you to focus more. While the Stoics are right that you should not worry about things that you can’t control, human nature is built in such way that no matter how intrinsically you are driven, you need outside help. After all, we are social animals and built to live in groups.
However, intrinsic motivation is incredibly powerful. Humans are curious creatures by nature, and this curiosity and the need to find out about things can sometimes overcome the problems that come from things outside your control. Satisfying your curiosity is one of the things that you do have in your hands, and something that you can do by yourself. This blog has served as an incredible tool for me to do that.
Through the process of writing this blog, reading the thousands of books and articles that I did as part of my background research, I have learned incredible things about humanity and how the world works. The thing is that the more I learn, the more I feel the need to learn more. Sometimes you arrive at a point where you think you have finally understood a subject, when a new fact that you come across totally shatters that image and makes you doubt yourself and your understanding.
These moments might be a bit heart-breaking, but they are also the starting points of new journeys, which then just add to the picture. For the world is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and with each new piece of knowledge you add one little jigsaw into the overall puzzle.
While at times I have been unmotivated to continue writing the blog, due to the lack of outside readers, questioning whether what I am writing actually makes sense, whether it is entertaining, and myriad of others doubts, I have pressed on. While the number of articles this year has been lower than in most other years, I have written some pieces which I am incredibly proud of.
One of these is my analysis of the fall of the Roman Republic and its parallels with the modern state of affairs in different countries across the world. What started off as a piece of research that was meant to be part of my new years post summarizing some predictions for the year, turned out to be a year-long quest that formed a backbone for many of the articles that I cranked out lately.
The article that I am most proud of, and one I believe that is quite unique on the internet, is the one where I compare the situation at the end of the Roman Republic and today, through the eyes of the ancient historians, commentators, and philosophers. Originally, reading ancient sources was just part of the background research, however I was quite intrigued by the incredible insights into human nature and how human affairs that they offered.
While some things the ancients wrote were colored by the state of scientific knowledge of their times, some other things are incredibly insightful and have stood the test of time. One thing that they noticed is that human affairs tend to be cyclical. This doesn’t mean that they repeat themselves action for action, for as one ancient philosopher stated you cannot step in the same river twice, but the patterns do tend to repeat and can lead to similar outcomes.
From these insights you can create a psychohistory of the past, present, and future. While the predictive capabilities of this psychohistory will not be perfect (but are getting better with all the new advances in data science and AI), they can give us an overview of the general trends that are happening in our societies.
On a more personal note, some of my writing has become famous, sort of and in the wrong way by being misrepresented. I had some quotes featured in “Not All Dead White Men” by Donna Zuckerberg. I won’t harp on it too much, but the context that was written about by her was all wrong. Oh well, such is life. You will often have to suffer from people misrepresenting you and your thoughts to serve their own agendas.
Hopefully, my seventh year of writing will finally spell a positive turnaround! 🙂