May '23: never cease to create 🎨
and have the courage to f*ck your heroes
Sofia, what’d you get done this month?
Broadening my perspective on (cellular) agriculture: I read and criticized 5+ patents, read 10+ old and beautiful papers on plant tissue culture, learned about the global spices market and bioelectricity, and had interesting conversations with people @ Synbiobeta on the techno economics of synbio. I’m finally putting together a team and getting back into building mode with new plants and reagents.
Wakening my creative mind again: I wrote an article on Eric Schmidt and one on DeSci for Synbiobeta, recorded a podcast episode with the fantastic Evan Groover (coming out this weekend), made a weird video on my 1st year of college, and connected chatGPT to WhatsApp to build cool apps there.
One of my heroes once said “people who don’t have heroes are doomed to living non-heroic lives”. Having had heroes my whole life, this month I came to this realization that I like to call “f*ck your heroes”. More elegantly said:
Rather than a recent Hollywood rush, the crave for heroes seems to be inherent to human nature. The veneration that our ancestors had for those misty gods of thunder and fire was did not only arise from fear but also of awe. More personally, it seems like the underlying desire here is really a reason to think you’re not that crazy. Crazy to think that you can create rain or fire, or truthfully be and make whatever you desire.
Isn’t this ironic? Heroism means great bravery. Sometimes that means to have the guts to do what no one else has ever done. Yet here I am… cowardly seeking heroes in the past instead of taking the leap towards the realization of own heroism. I think I need stories about Marcus Aurelius and Steve Jobs1 but forget that heroes are simply those who do what is necessary2.
to change the world
The most stupid excuse is “no one’s ever done this before”. This deceives the thinker of that thought, the non-innovative and coward minds, to think that what hasn’t happened in the past will never happen, that the universe is static, and that people can’t create new things. What a horrendous lie.
To the thinkers of that thought, of course myself many times, I say: wake up buddy cuz that’s the whole point. The world is not a subject that changes, it is an object that we may take responsibility over changing.
Heroism arises from yet exceeds historical expectations. Your heroes had heroes who inspired them too. But instead of tattooing the same path on their skin, they carved a life of their own design. Committed to their duty, they didn’t mind being the first ones. They had a “if not us who? if not now when?” kind of thinking.
through innovative behavior.
Imitating your heroes is not that hard, it doesn’t require any courage because you’ve seen it work in at least one person. It’s actually independent thinking that takes more courage; it may even lead you to confront your heroes.
The modern world is fascinated with technological innovation. We all want to change the world, invent some cool new thing but: do we have the courage to innovate in who we are as people?
Our mindsets, beliefs, skillsets, and knowledge are part of our LifeOS, which eventually shape our whole human culture. Realizing that you’re someone’s hero too may drive a sense of responsibility to update that system. When I confessed I wanted to change the world, my favorite teacher told me: in order to change the world, you must first change yourself.
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine—Alan Turing.
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Yes, I’ve been reading Steve’s biography by Walter Isaacson this month. How’d you notice? 😛