In a previous post I described my personal philosophy
that the meaning of my life is to make the world a better place, at the largest
possible scale. I think many people relate to this life mission even if it's not as
explicit in their minds, and even if they're less committed to it. This post is
a recommendation about how to spend your time according to this philosophy.
I keep a "nobility list" of activities in descending order of importance. There
is one for my work hours (called "endeavours") and one for my leisure hours.
The work list changes constantly according to the projects I'm working on. The
most important and most urgent projects go at the top. Every day I have a
routine when I get into work. I read my email, go through my inbox, and update
my to-do lists and then schedule the hours in my day. Each hour gets assigned
to an endeavour. The item at the top of the list gets the first hour. This way
when things come up and the things near the end of the day end up not getting
worked on, the most important things got worked on already.
I don't work at home, but when I'm home I still want too maximize my
positive impact on the world, so when I think of what I want to do, I look at
the nobility list. I'm not asking you to use my nobilty list, but to get an idea,
given my ideals and talents, of what a nobility list looks like so you can make
1. Writing Lake. Lake is my working title for the cognitive architecture I've
been working on. I consider the making of a cognitive architecture the
most fundamental part of Cognitive Science's and AI's great work, so it
gets top priority. Specifically, "writing Lake" means coming up with ideas,
working on them, and writing them down in some document.
2. Reading Cognitive Science Book. A general motto for the nobility list is
"don't consume if you can produce." If I'm not creating a cognitive model,
I can read about what others have done that is relevant so I can better
work on my own model.
3. Reading Non-Cognitive Science Hard Book. Hard books are ones that are
not the most fun to read, but enrich my life, usually scientifically, more
than just through entertainment.
4. Creating Art. I think art enriches people's lives, and I enjoy it, so I create
art when I can. This is broadly defined, including writing plays, poetry
or novels, drawing, painting, directing, etc.
5. Reading Fun Book.
6. Watching Art Movie. By "art movie" I mean a challenging film that is
not just bubblegum entertainment. It takes more energy to watch one.
7. Playing Video Games. Low on the list. Videogames are usually pure