Transcript of the talk between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

Transcript of the talk between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

I am reading through this thing now, but the talk went for five hours, so there is quite a bit to dig through.  I am about a half down, and I have to say that this is great stuff.  There is plenty of thought-provoking discussion, ideas, examples, etc.  I am marking it down for quotes, so expect another post in a day or two.  I suggest you read the whole thing too though.

What’s in the room? A fear. Or two.

OK, you gonna hate me for this, but I just couldn’t resist and read one more question from the The Daily Post.

You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

I wanted to do a post like that for a while now.  But thinking of my fears takes away for a long time and then I don’t know how to connect them all,  with which one to start, and how to finish.  And on top of that I get really scared thinking of all my fears.  But, if I think in terms of the room, and I’m locked in there with my greatest fear, all of a sudden I see … just me.  And that explains at least four big fears that I have:

  1. Fear of loneliness.  That is probably my greatest fear.  I am not comfortable with myself for long periods of time, and I constantly need people around me.  I’d rather have the worst possible people next to me, than nobody at all.
  2. Fear of myself.  This one comes and goes.  But when it comes, it’s pretty scary, and, difficult to explain.  But I do fear myself sometimes.  For most time, I can control myself pretty well.  (Feel free to disagree.)  However once in a while I get into that mode where I have an almost out of body experience, watching myself from aside, doing something crazy.  It’s almost never good or bad, just stupid.  But having no control of it is scary.
  3. Fear of dentists.  And I hear you jump up immediately, screaming – YOU ARE NOT A DENTIST!!! And you are right, I am not.  But remember that this whole thing is hypothetical.  There’s me locked up in the room with my greatest fear.  Well, I am afraid of dentists.  I’ve had more than a fair share of bad experiences and something snapped.  I think I might be so afraid of them, that even if I become one, I’d still have the fear.  And given that fear #2, I might just once have an uncontrollable desire to fix my own teeth.  Isn’t that scary?
  4. Fear of the dark.  Yeah, remember that room?  Someone switched off the lights and closed the shutters too, so it’s pitch black.  That alone wouldn’t throw me into a panic attack anymore – I used to be afraid of the dark a lot more when I was kid – but given all those other fears in the room, I would be pretty miserable.

OK, enough, as I said before, these thoughts get me scared.  I should get of the Internet now and go hide somewhere with people and lights, and without dentists.

What are you afraid off?  What would be in that room of yours?  Answering ‘you’ is cheating. :)

This is your life. Would you read it?

A year or so ago, I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed of The Daily Post – a blog that tries to inspire people to blog daily, but providing questions, ideas, and unfinished thoughts.  I’ve checking with it once in a while, but often had enough things of my own to write about.  Still, I find their variety of subjects interesting.  And since, I’ve looked at them today, here is an example – This is your life:

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

I totally would!  I think.  Sort of.  This is actually quite close to the arguments I held in a recent discussion at work.  A few of us in the office were discussing the benefits of finding out the gender of your kid during pregnancy, and doing DNA tests to find out which diseases are more pre-exposed to.

I’ve stood my grounds on the side of: the more information, the better.   Since the beginning of times, the human race was trying to find out more information, and then pass it on to the next generations.   That’s probably one of the reasons why we are social animals – to get easier access to peer information, and better insure the passing to next generation.  Humans have a large brain, and we found amazing ways to use.  We’ve started mining for information early on, and came up with ways to organize and communicate information better.  From cave drawings, to alphabet, to scrolls and paper, all through to digital.  We’ve traveled miles, went into great depths and flew to remote planets – all in the drive for more information.

And then, some choose to not know.  I don’t get.  I can understand information filtering, when it just becomes too much – not everybody wants a Ph.D. in every single science and art after all.  I do understand time and money constraints, when you just cannot afford to learn something, thanks to the costs of modern education.  I do even understand fatigue, when you have all the information at your fingertips, but just can’t take it anymore.  But when none of this is a factor, when you do have access to the information, and it doesn’t cost you much more to learn it, I cant’ think of a reason not to learn it.

Now, back to that book thing again.  I would read it for all the information that it has.  If it covers my future, my goods and my bads, and even if it covers my death and after-death – I would read it.  I want all that information.  The thought that stops me from saying that I would absolutely read all of it cover to cover has to do with time constraints.

I am 34 years old.  Even with a rough calculation, that’s over 12,000 days.  I haven’t lived all days to the full – sometimes I was sick, sometimes I was lazy, sometimes I just slept a day through.  But those weren’t too many.  I can probably imagine at least a half a page for each day of my life.  That’s a book with 6,000 pages, give or take.  I’ve also had quite a few of those days that would need a book of their own.  But, for the sake of simplicity, I’m not taking about those now.  I’m not the fastest reader.  It would probably take me a month or so to read through that.   And that’s only up to now.  I have no idea for how long the book goes further.  Every coupe of days add a page.  Do I really want to read for a month a full memory of what happened to me until now?  Probably not.  I have a blog with over 6,000 posts and I’ve never read it cover to cover, even though I wrote all of it on my own.  Sure thing it’s nice to read memories once in a while.   As I mentioned before, I do enjoy my ‘On this day …’ widget on the sidebar.  But that’s just a 4-5 clicks, not a whole book.

I would probably go for something electronic.  Like if I had a blog with all everything that happened or will happen to me, instead of that book, I’d love it more.  Just think of that!  A full life’s blog archive, with all the tools – search, post calendar, tags, categories, occasional images maybe – and all of that without any work.  Someone just gave it to you.  I would totally jump on that!

P.S.: Now I think I now why I don’t frequent The Daily Post blog.  It’s tricky.  They ask a simple question, and it throws me into a long post mode.