Writing down what I know
Should I become a writer?
Something that I am playing with as an idea, is to write down all of the things I know and the knowledge I accumulate in the form of blog posts.
The idea behind this is to present a synthesis of what I am learning intermingled with thoughts of my own, that come up while learning. In a way, my writing will be a processed version of what I have read and watched. Something that reflects the state of my mind and might be interesting to others because my viewpoint and synthesis on the topic are digestible and unique.
Since I read broadly I can connect distant things from different books and areas of expertise. Weaving together different topics and genres which have similar ideas. I want to connect those ideas, to create "new" knowledge.
What to write about?
Topics that I want to cover would be such things as nutrition, the workings of the brain, technology and computers... With computers, I would like to unwrap the layers of complexity, starting with something as low level as a transistor and then working my way up towards higher level programming languages, eventually, operating systems, and web-servers and the way a normal user interacts with a smartphone in their day to day life.
Other things I want to cover would be biochemistry and the way things, in the body, work. In other words, I want to write about how cells do their job and how the inside of a cell is more like a set of complex factories, which work together complete, with tiny protein highways moving raw materials around, manufacturing sites producing complex things from those materials and power plants and planning offices running the whole operation... Yet other topics would be economics, meditation, psychology, productivity advice, and "wisdom".
Committing to it.
I have to make an actual commitment and start. Take this idea of writing all those blog posts and finally execute it. I started it already a few years ago, but then never stuck with it. Now it is different. This time is the time to put in the hours and write. Write and read, as voraciously and as much as I can, while keeping my side projects going, so that I can learn from them. To have experiences and learnings to write about. That is the kind of life that I want to live. And this blog post is a friendly reminder to myself that this is what I want to do.
And I mean why not... Writing is a good shot at doing something that is both meaningful and valuable, therefore something rewarding.
So maybe that is what I want to become as a person - even long-term? A writer?
Teachers and Amplifiers
The unique skill of taking knowledge and making it understandable for others can change the world. Writing can be such a skill. It produces and disseminates ideas, which in turn start influencing the behavior of other people, which in turn influence the workings of the world. Therefore writing changes the world. This impact is rather hard to measure, just like the work done by a teacher. It is less visible somehow than building factories or colonizing Mars. But the impact can be bigger than those things in the long run. It is about amplifying and reaching a lot of people, changing their minds to become better persons, with more knowledge, better equipped to deal with the world.
The idea of becoming an amplifier rings a bell here, something that Marc told me about. An amplifier is the type of person, that bests spends their time not implementing and building the future themselves, but is better for preparing the next generations for a task like this. That is what writers are.
Not just writers, but generally content producers, who are sparking a passion for science and engineering, through their teaching, by their dissemination of ideas. The likes of Vsauce, Veritasium, Kurzgesagt and blogs like WaitButWhy, SlateStarCodex and LessWrong come to mind when I think of people who already do this.
So maybe that's what I want to do then?
Me, as a Content Producer?
I am still unsure whether that will be a good path for me...
Can I be happy with producing content, and believe in the value of that content?
Or do I have to produce something more tangible, a real product and try to build a company that is pushing innovation in an area important to me? Also, how much of this is hybris on my side? Pipedreams of a person, that still lives at home, has no job, no degree, just a thinking brain, a pile of books on a shelf and a lot of (crazy?) ideas?
In the end, it probably comes down to a simple question... Why not? I can just try it...
I mean how bad would it be if I spend something like a year pursuing this opportunity, writing every day, writing down my knowledge, reading deeply, digesting, trying to build a blog and seeing where this leads to and whether or not it could be the kind of life I would want to live?
Conclusion... and more Questions
This is what I am going to do now. This is what this blog is going to be.
Is being a content creator something that I want to do in the long run? Honestly, I don't know.
But I'll try and see. The worst thing that could happen is that I learn something about myself and that I have a bunch of articles on a webpage, that nobody ever looks at, and that I stop writing more... Which sounds not that bad. So let's go!