Raghu's

Notes and Thoughts

Exploring the fabric of knowledge

Everyone should create their own "Everything I know" series

  • July-06-2020
  • General

I was just browsing through Hacker News and stumbled upon this fantastic lecture series by Buckminster Fuller in which he talks about everything he has learned and discovered during the course of his life. Honestly, I've not watched all the videos yet and do plan to at least by the end of this week, but the real reason I am writing about it here is that a thought struck me while watching some of these videos as to how wonderful would it be if all of us could create an "Everything I know series" that could be preserved for posterity. I know that not all of us have Buckminster level accomplishments that we can boast about or share with the world, at least I certainly don't, but I think learnings go beyond just being scientific i.e., there is an unquantifiable value to being a human.

If there is one thing that I realized watching these videos it is that at the end of the day I am utterly indifferent to the kind of accomplishments, at least as long as there is a human touch to it. To give you an example, I have been moved and inspired by the unremarkable life of William Stoner and Ivan Ilych as much as that of Euclid or Ramanujan or Bach. And I am not kidding, my first introduction to Bach was through G.E.BGödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid
—By Douglas Hofstader
, but my first real introduction was through "The Learned Musician"Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician
—By Christoph Wolff
, where I got to know the person and which in my opinion also just quadrupled my respect(admiration) for this wonderful genius. This is not to say that Bach and an unremarkable fictional character are equatable, but that you can empathize with a human in a genius more than a genius in a human. I mean at the end of the day hierarchy and accomplishment based complexes are just deeply entrenched in our minds and I know that there is very little we can do about it, but I feel there is more to this longing than just the complexes. And with social media constantly exhausting us cognitively, I feel this would be a great little way for all of us to create our own social media, where we engage with people as a whole and not just the learned parts of the person. What do I mean by that? I mean that no matter how many times I watch the lecture series by Buckminster Fuller on his Dymaxion house and Geodesic domes, I am pretty sure that I won't remember to include them in my videos if and when I create one, but I will for life remember this man's passion for what he did. That is, a media with a life-aware/work-aware production-consumption pattern as opposed to an consumption-only dopamine-centric pattern.

References

[1] Buckminster Fuller. (1975). Everything I know

[2] Leo Tolstoy. (1886). The death of Ivan Illyich

[3] John Williams. (1965). Stoner

[4] Douglas Hofstader. (1979). Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid

[5] Christoph Wolff. (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician

[6] Web of Stories. (Youtube)