Quit Your Job




  • alue is very legible within a clear plan to reach a clear objective. But you cannot pursue interesting novelty—things that no one else is doing or which you have never seen before, or the little threads of nagging curiosity or doubt—by chasing along known direct value gradients. But that’s where the treasure is. That’s how you will find the place where you need to build. To get the biggest and most interesting payoffs, you have to start by chasing merely interesting novelty in an open-ended way. (View Highlight)
  • Relatedly, it’s unfair and wasteful for the people who could be out there exploring and building the future on their own dime to be either working normal jobs or simply managing their money for profit. This is a key part of what it means to be a responsible elite. You use your privilege and your personal judgment to explore and solve problems that no one else can. (View Highlight)
  • If you have the resources to spend some time exploring, if you are on to interesting threads of novelty that few other people have, and if you have the spirit to tighten your belt, throw out your map, and explore off-road, then your real job is to do so. It is a grave sin to neglect that kind of cosmic duty. But many more people have the means and privilege to quit their tracked careers than ever realize it and act on it. You need far less than you think to live in monk mode and pursue this kind of exploration. What this means in practice is that at some point far before you are or feel ready, you need to quit your job. (View Highlight)
  • To make such bets you must be indifferent at some level to whether you end up a king or a monk, or even dead. The indeterminate hedge-trader with his logarithmic utility function assigns infinite negative utility to ruin. The man of action serenely regards ruin as the most likely possible outcome, mitigates it where he can, and leaps anyway. He rejects the comfortable half-existence of drifting with the indeterminate human tide and manifests his bold vision into the world. (View Highlight)
  • If your vision is beautiful and sound, it will flourish. Resources will unexpectedly come out of the woodwork to support it. If your vision doesn’t have that virtue, you will be struck down for its lack. That’s life. It is also justice. Where this justice conflicts with our own human desires, perhaps it is we who are wrong, not God. (View Highlight)