Long-term thinking

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I’m a big fan of long-term thinking; after all, I’m very interested in anti-aging, long content, durable links, and so on. I think Peter Thiel nailed it with these quotes:

People always say they want to live every day as though it will be their last. I always have this contrasting view that I think I’d like to live every day as though it will go on for ever.

If we had an indefinite life span, we would continue to work and start great new projects, we would be very careful about how we treated the people around us because we would encounter them again.1

People always say you should live your life as if it were your last day. I think you should live your life as though it will go on for ever; that every day is so good that you don’t want it to end.2

From Rough Consensus and Maximal Interestingness:

It is generally smarter to assume that problems that seem difficult and important today might become trivial or be rendered moot in the future. Behaviors that would be short-sighted in the context of scarcity become far-sighted in the context of abundance.

The original design of the Mosaic browser, for instance, reflected the optimistic assumption that everybody would have high-bandwidth access to the Internet in the future, a statement that was not true at the time, but is now largely true in the developed world. Today, many financial technology entrepreneurs are building products based on the assumption that cryptocurrencies will be widely adopted and accepted. Underlying all such optimism about technology is an optimism about humans: a belief that those who come after us will be better informed and have more capabilities, and therefore able to make more creative decisions.

See also

  1. Peter Thiel: ‘We attribute too much to luck. Luck is an atheistic word for God’ ”.↩︎

  2. Peter Thiel: the billionaire tech entrepreneur on a mission to cheat death↩︎