Improvising in the game of life (Ricky Weekly #2)

This is an experiment where I share 3 things every week with my friends and potentially anyone interested. I’ll share 1 thing on my mind, 1 piece of content I recommend, and 1 picture from my life. I’ll try to do this for the next two months on Sundays. Feedback is encouraged.

A picture from my life:

I was in a public bathroom and noticed this sign. What kind of danger am I in if I take more than 15 minutes? 🤔

Thing on my mind:

Was in a funk Friday because I wasn’t sure if I was working on the right things. Better now that I took a day off to read and think. I recently learned that “feedback” is important to making a game fun because it lets you know if the creative strategies you are taking are paying off. From that perspective, the game of life is not well-designed because the goals of the game are vague and the feedback you get is pretty noisy. In that case, you might choose to play a better-defined mini-game like whatever our society thinks is a successful family life because you can actually play well. Your strategies to finding the right partner and purchasing that house in the suburbs will receive positive feedback from society and make you feel like you’re winning. But what if you don’t want to play one of those mini-games? How do you measure how well you’re playing? This book “Improv Wisdom” gave me some useful suggestions like asking myself if I am leaning into the moment enough and truly looking for emergent opportunities. I just cracked open the (kindle) book, but I imagine how well I am improvising is a good way to measure my progress.

PS: My musing about life is perfectly captured by this guy’s Tweetstorm. An article I wrote two weeks ago is perfectly captured by a quote from this dead dude. Every thought that can be thought up is probably already somewhere on the Internet. I wonder what kind of effect this has on people today. Are people less likely to explore ideas now because they know their ideas won’t be original? Maybe originality is overrated.

Piece of content I recommend:

Why Books Don’t Work by Andy Matuschak

I loved it because I didn’t grow up liking books, but all my smart friends love books and that was a source of insecurity. The essay talks about how books are mostly about capturing ideas from the author and transmitting them in a rather blunt manner to the user. Now that we have many competing formats to books, we can better see them for what they are and think about how to make them better.

A joke and a question (suggestions from last week):

My friend went to med school in the Caribbean, so I was like “oh that’s what they mean by medical tourism!”

I’m going to a bachelor party this weekend on a cruise to Ensenada. I’ve never been on a cruise before and I get horribly seasick. On top of that, we had to purchase the all-you-can-drink package, which entitles us to 15 drinks per day and I don’t recover well from hangovers anymore. How do I survive this? HALP!

Love you all.

As always, you can find out what I’m thinking in more real-time on Twitter and my blog posts are on my website.